Many years ago, before my young ones were even born, my best girlfriend started saving wine corks in a fish bowl. Each cork marked with permanent marker telling the date and what event happened when the wine was opened. A party, birthday, anniversary, gathering, all easily reminisced over by looking through the fish bowl of corks. Feeling sad? grab the fish bowl! Right there were the good times spent with friends and family. I too started to date special corks of my own, trouble is I've never been much of a drinker, especially a wine drinker, so my collection was pretty sparse, but none the less, I loved the idea of saving little mementos of good times that you could hold in your hand.
Not til just 2 years ago did I pick this little ritual back up with a twist that better fit our family. The "fun jar" was born. I bought a simple glass cookie jar with a lid. Glass, because you want to be able to SEE what's inside, much like the fish bowl my bff used all those years ago. Then whenever we remembered, we'd toss in little bits of memories made. Ticket stubs, dinner receipts, ribbon, confetti, recital programs, band concert programs, wrist bands, game tickets, teacher awards, notes, drawings, etc. No rules, just whenever something seemed special, or fun, toss it in the jar. Then at the end of the year, OR as in the case this year, the beginning of the new year, we gather together around the table and bit by bit, go through the jar's contents. You'd be surprised how much you forget in just 1 year! I love it for that reason, not only is it special moments for us, but it's a time we spend remembering all we actually did do! The "oh yeah I forgot all about that! That was really fun!" come spilling out as each little piece is revealed. Then when we are all done reminiscing, we bag the year's contents up in a big ziplock bag and store it for years to come, and the empty jar goes back on the bookcase where we begin all over again for the new year.
Today after breakfast I remembered we hadn't yet emptied our jar from 2015, so we cleared off the table, gathered around, and bit by bit, had lots of smiles and "oh yeahs" as we looked at each object in our jar. Such a simple happiness.
in this year's jar?
movie tickets to Paddington, Peanuts, Minions, Hotel Transylvania 2, Pan, Avengers Age of Ultron, Star Wars The Force Awakens, dance recital programs, marching band program, last elementary violin concert ever program (!!!!), star student tickets from school, Island Queen ferry schedule which took us to Martha's Vineyard, photo from Kellen's time at Camp Kieve and a leaf from there, ribbon from a gift, confetti from new year eve poppers, wristbands from Aquaboggan, MeCAF, Summit Adventures, Palace Playland, Funtown Splashtown (band trip), voter stickers, Casey's "tiniest pencil ever, a shiny rock, a flower barrette Casey found and liked, a playing card found on the beach when the kids came with me and watched the sunrise, popcorn bag from the new library grand opening party, first official day of summer parking permit ticket, last day of summer dinner receipt from Surf6, a hand tracing of kellen's, paper flowers they made me for Mother's day, a sticker from Maxwells Strawberry Farm, parking permit from Philly, map of the Franklin Institute, receipt from shake shack with Jen, smiley face token, Lego Exhibit Tickets, bowling receipt with our neighbors, a list Casey wrote of all she hoped to do in Philly, handwritten letters from "Big Nana" that Pa found and gifted us, a dried flower, field day ribbon, school friend birthday party invites, a brochure of The Frances (sailboat) from our anniversary sunset cruise, fortune cookie fortunes, all of this year's holiday photo cards we received, and perhaps the biggest surprise of all was finding 2 of Harper's puppy fang teeth in the bottom of the jar! (eep! so tiny)
My advice, make your own fun jar, or fish bowl.
You won't regret it.