I’m sure you have all heard about the gratitude jar phenomenon that has been going around for several years now.
If you haven’t, just go here on Pinterest and see roughly 483, 720 examples. (Basically, you jot down as many grateful moments as you care to, store them in a large container all year, and then, on New Year’s Eve, you read through them all and bask in the memories of the previous year’s highlights.)
I stumbled across the idea at the end of last year and have been waiting anxiously since then to complete our first year. I’m not very patient when it comes to fun, new traditions. So finally, 2013 has come to an end (almost) and we had our first “jar party” tonight. My boys
were forced to joined us on the floor where we dumped out many, many piles of tiny papers and began reading through them…there also might have been chocolate fudge cake. And champagne. (Yes, I know, it was one night early… see note above about my patience.)
Suffice it to say, I was in misty-eyed-mom-mode for most of the ordeal…the good kind. What a treat. Here are some favorites:
My four-year-old listed every family member (including extended) on one piece of paper and then at the bottom it said, “they are all the best.” Both boys had many submissions about family movie nights and bike rides, pets and special times with mom, dad, and grandparents…and not a single mention of toys, electronics or anything material at all. Oh wait, there was one note about a new trampoline. OK, so one mention of a toy. Such simplicity in the things the boys wrote down – it felt humbling.
“I love my school.”
“When mommy read to me today.”
“Our house is always full of good food.”
“The earth and stars and a big sky and angels.”
“My dad lets me build stuff with him.”
“Our super soft kitty.”
I had three different entries about how blessed I feel to be in charge of my own schedule and have the luxury of flexibility…and several more in appreciation that long-time, old stressors from the past no longer exist. It was a clear way to see some patterns about what really feels important.
All in all it was a big success in my book. It is such an easy way to incorporate the “discipline” of gratitude into our everyday lives and, hopefully, instill healthy mental habits in the boys. (There’s lots of good reasons for this, in case you haven’t heard.)
Some adjustments I’m making for 2014:
A new, prettier container – with more room!
Pre-cut papers so they are always handy
Putting dates on the entries (some of the things we wrote about were hard to place exactly without a date for reference)
Making entries even more often, so I can be mistier-eyed next year. 😉
It’s never too late to start… Happy New Year!!
Here’s the new jar for 2014…with several little papers in there, already. Is it too early to be excited for next New Year’s Eve?