With the New Year fast approaching I wanted to write about a little family tradition we have in the hope it inspires people and gives you time to prepare if you want to try this with me in 2019! Wow, how did we nearly get to 2019 already?
I heard of this a few years ago and I just thought it was absolutely brilliant. It’s a happy memory jar. Every year I buy a big glass jar and a pad of post-it type paper. My OCD needs everything to match so God forbid I use scraps of paper or we have more happy memories than there are sheets of paper in the pad! But of course if you aren’t inflicted with this terrible desire to have everything match then any container and scraps of paper will do the same job! Then anything that makes us happy gets jotted down, folded up, and put in the jar to be read by the family on New Year’s Eve. Now this can be anything as long as it’s positive and a happy memory, from things people have done or bought for me, trips out and holidays, pleasant surprises, special events, funny things the kids have said, funny things that have happened at work or in text conversations; anything that brightened up your day. What a good way to remember all the little things over the year and again, go to bed on a good note, literally writing a little happy memory for ourselves to re-read one day.
One note that we found the other day from an old jar that really made me giggle was something my nephew came out with while sat on the toilet at about aged 4. “Grandma, if you hear me shout “f…” it means I’ve finished but I don’t know how to say the word ‘finished’!” Now would we ever have remembered that had it not been jotted down and popped in the jar that night?
And now that we have children too the prospect of making a night of New Year’s Eve has gone out the window, and to be honest if we make it past 10pm it’s a miracle. So our tradition now involves us all ordering takeout and laughing and reminiscing over the jar. But if you still have a social life it would make a great Christmas or New Year’s Day tradition too! Whatever fits your family.
I do also think that it would be a fantastic thing to have if you ever felt really down and overwhelmed by life. Who cares if you cheat and dip in halfway through the year for a little pick-me-up? If pulling out a memory of the time that friend left a couple of cans of G&T on your doorstep because she knew you were stuck in alone with the kids asleep in bed and had had a day where you desperately needed a drink (another one from my jar) reminded you of how loved you actually were, what an amazing jar of positivity to have at hand!!!!
You can get the kids involved too, or let them create their own jar. Me and my nephew made one once and the things he wrote that were important memories to him were beautiful: “When Daddy reads to me at night,” “The day me and Isaac were allowed to eat our dinner on a picnic blanket on my bedroom floor was the greatest day of my life,” to remember a couple. And when his parents read them they couldn’t believe the little things that this 6 year old counted as his most joyous moments to date!
So give it a go and let me know how you get on. Maybe next year we can all come back and share our happiest memories of the year!