Years ago, I gave a dear friend a memory jar gift. In a recent conversation over the idea of word gifts, she mentioned that she keeps that jar beside her bed and reads one of the memories hidden within it each day. That gift was given YEARS ago! Its encouragement and value has not waned throughout the years. Now that’s the kind of gift I’d like to receive but definitely one that I love to give.
A memory jar is extremely simple to make. First, purchase some kind of jar – one that is appropriate for the receiver. If it’s a child, make it a colorful jar. If it’s a male, be sure it’s not to feminine (such as the one above with a pretty purple bow.) Of course, if it’s a female who will be receiving the gift, go as girly as you want!
Next, you’ll need to brainstorm a list of special memories shared between you and the receiver of the jar. (Please give yourself time to come up with this list. I spent probably 2 weeks or so simply remembering all the great times that my friend and I shared. Might be handy to keep a little piece of paper with you, so when you remember an event randomly, you will have something to write it down on.)
Now that you have your list, you can start writing the events down on small slips of paper. With today’s selection of scrapbook paper, you can add another element of creativity to your jar. If you’d rather use the computer to write out your memories, then do so. However, I found that the personalization of handwriting can be very meaningful. When writing your memories, start each sentence with “I remember when…”, “I remember the moment…”, or “I remember the day…” There’s no need to write out the details of the memory, a simple reference to it will suffice. This method allows the receiver to relive the moment in their own mind, making it a truly personal word gift. (Keep in mind that not all memories will be happy, but they could be moments that defined your relationship or strengthened it.)
This is a long-term gift, one meant to be treasured over a period of time. Try to come up with at least 30 memories shared, so that the receiver can enjoy the gift for a month. This means they get to read one memory a day for a month. Here’s a simple poem to write on the card that could be given with the gift so the beneficiary knows exactly how to enjoy it.
Moments of memories hidden inside
Read one each day to see
You and Me
Is a colorful mosaic of blessing.