Shadow boxes are such a great way to showcase jewelry/accessories, heirlooms, vacation memorabilia, and keepsakes. I even noticed at IKEA that they have shadow box coffee tables. It looks like a showcase from a store when anything is behind glass. I have a couple shadow box frames that hold family photos of family members who've passed on. I adore scrapbooking, but I also like these heirlooms out on display so I can remember them everyday I pass by or friends and family can easily notice them. You'd be surprised how many people will have their curiousity piqued.
I have a set of antique pearls from my grandmother, for instance, that I'm deathly afraid of wearing for fear that I might lose them that I put in the frame with her old pictures. They're still easily accessible if I ever worked up the nerve to wear them. Some grandparents collect furniture and fancy dishes - my grandma collected jewelry.
My husband lost his father when he was twelve. He didn't have a lot of possessions to hand down. We were lucky to even find pictures of him (must thank Justin's sister-in-law for making copies). The thing that Justin remembered most about him was the kind of character he had and a certain poem he carried around in his Bible, so I typed that up and put it in his box.