The Memory Jar is an all-year-round tradition that, for us, culminates on New Year’s Eve.
Also known as a Jar of Joy, the concept is simple. Whenever something good happens throughout the year, you write it down on a piece of paper, and pop the piece of paper into the Memory Jar. It is a great way of helping to focus on all the positives that happen throughout the year and not dwelling on the negatives.
It can be literally anything, as long as it made you feel good.
For example :
- Your partner cooked dinner
- The kids tidied up their bedrooms
- You won a giveaway/some money on the lottery/at bingo etc.
- You had a fun day out
- One of the kids passed a test
- You had a takeaway/went out to eat
- You went to the cinema
- It was someone’s Birthday
- You went to a party
The list is endless, the only rule is that it has to be something positive, no matter how small. No negativity allowed!
Then just watch as the Jar fills up throughout the year.
The Jar itself can be anything. We use a decorative sweetie Jar that we bought at a local garden centre, but you could use anything. Maybe even use decorating a Jar to use as an activity for the kids?
Seeing the Jar fill up with good memories gives you a warm feeling in itself, but inevitably the Jar gets full, then what do you do next?
This is something that will be different for each family, but for us, we incorporate it into our New Year’s celebrations traditions. We like to start the Jar off afresh on the 1st of January, so on the 31st December, New Year’s Eve, we gather the family round and pass the Jar around, each taking it in turns to take out and read one memory from the year, continuing until the Jar is empty. We then bag up the ‘memories’, label it for the year and add it to a memory box that we keep all year’s ‘memories’ in. This is our 3rd year of doing it so are building up quite a collection 😊.
The activity itself helps to remind all of us about the fun and positive things that have happened throughout the year. At that time of year it can be especially helpful as so many people tend to end the year on a negative note, only looking back at the bad things that have happened that year.
A little positivity can go a long way.