When I got married, I didn't register for any china. I registered for Fiesta Ware (persimmon) and after two wonderful showers I found myself with 12 full place settings. I (at the time) thought I wouldn't ever want china. I was so so so wrong. A year later, I was working in a Hallmark store, drooling over the gorgeous china patterns I was forced to work around, yet could not afford to buy. Woe was me.
Later, my grandmother moved out of her home into a retirement community. My dad came back from the move with a box full of china. He said, "If you don't want it, that's fine. We'll just stick it in the basement." GASP. I loved it immediately.
I found this picture on flickr... I confess... my camera isn't this good. But this is my china. I inherited it from my grandmother, who inherited it from her sister. It's Creative China, Regency Rose pattern. According to someone (cant remember who told me this) my great aunt collected it from stamps she accumulated at a gas station. I love love love it, obviously because it's gorgeous. But, I love it more because it came from family. I keep little scraps of paper in all my bowls and dishes that came from different branches of my family, so I can keep all the stories straight.