Monday, December 17, 2012

Meaningful Christmas: Day 1

With the tragic events that unfolded last week in CT, I have started to think about more meaningful things that I can do with my family this Christmas.  Things that will create special memories, things that aren't just I've set aside some of the gifts that I had planned on giving and instead, I am now putting together a few things that will create special, long lasting gifts for our family members.

Day 1: Journal in a Jar.
There are a million and two "Jar" gift ideas. For me, this is the most meaningful and better for your waistline than "S'mores in a Jar", btw. I was thrilled to be introduced to this idea at a church meeting a few months ago.
Give this to your parents for Christmas for them to take the year of 2013 and answer each question in the jar, writing it down in the journal that you provide for them, or simply on the slip of paper.  What better way for your children to get to find out fascinating things about their Grandparents that they never knew. Or you could do it for your they know about your first pet? Do they know about your first love, your first lost tooth??? These questions aren't the every day things that you'd necessarily share with your children, but there will come a time when it will be an exceptionally special gift for them to be able to sit down and read your "journaling" and to know more about you, or Grandma, and connect on another level.
You could ask serious questions or from a kids perspective, these may be what they would really be interested in learning about... Here are some suggestions taken from Favcrafts suggestion list:

  • My childhood Best Friend.
  • Clothing styles when I was 16.
  • We went camping....
  • A typical Saturday for me.
  • My very first memory
  • at Grandma's House....
  • My favorite road trip
  • The first time I kissed a boy
  • Going to the county fair.
  • Christmas as a kid
  • My childhood house
  • My favorite home as an adult
  • When I got engaged..
  • Donuts
  • What we did all summer.
  • If I had a day all to myself.
  • Visiting a foreign country
  • My hairstyles.
  • prayers or spiritual experiences
  • Christmas as a mom.
  • Reading books to my kids.
  • My wedding day.
  • Foods I love.
  • Foods I hate.
  • When I was 12....
  • Childhood pet.
  • Sports I can play.
  • I cried.
  • My Grandpa.
  • 5 things I wish I'd done, but I was too scared to.
  • the first time I voted.
  • our childhood car.
  • I lied about...
  • A trip to the beach.
  • I was in the school play.
  • Hidden talents.
  • songs I still have memorized.
  • the price of food from a grocery store.
  • Someone I love passed away.
  • My baby was born.
I have a simple jar, few embellishments and a notebook for a journal.

You can obviously add your own style and be as elaborate or as simple as you like. But it would be a lovely gift to have your kids help you put it together and if you gave a nice journal, it would add to the overall gift.   I think I may even take their responses to this year long gift that I'll be collecting towards the end of 2013 and make a photo-book with their journal entries, putting in some of their childhood pictures.

DIY Journal Jar - Keeping a a personal history doesn't have to mean writing an autobiography. It doesn't need to be chronological or overly organized. You can work on it in snippets here and there. A personal history is only what you want it to be, as long it encompasses YOU and your life.  NICE!

The above is an example from Favcrafts that I found on Pinterest and a link to her instructions and journal questions.

Some other examples to get you thinking:

Grammy's Journal in a Jar

Write-your-story Journal Jars. I'd like to do these with my girls, but wouldn't it be fun to give a beautiful jar and prompts to older family members as a way for them to share their memories in writing?

Make it a meaningful Christmas.

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