Make a fun, family tradition for the new year with this keepsake memory jar! Perfect for busy parents who want to record things that happen but have very little time to do it, and a wonderful keepsake to look back on by the end of each year.
I am one of those people who wistfully imagines all these wonderful ways that I will document our lives and the sweet things my kids do. I think about photo books, memory books, record books and more, but what I’ve found out about myself over the years is that I am not able to ever pull those things off. No matter how much I love the idea, I pack my days with too much stuff to do and, quite simply, parenthood is full-on hard work!
So whenever I can think of a way to simplify, cut corners and still achieve something memorable and special, I will always take that route as it seems to be more achievable. This keepsake memory jar fits that description because it is incredibly easy to set up (this took about 2 minutes!) and can be maintained at a pace determined by yourself, not by set calendar dates. This is key I think!
To make this keepsake memory jar you simply need:
a large, empty jar
a label with the year written on (anything will do for this)
a small notebook or stack of blank cards/ pieces of paper
That’s it! Oh, and a space to store it where it can sit year around in clear view (so you don’t forget about it!)
This is how the keepsake memory jar works:
Every time you go on an outing, trip, holiday, vacation or special visit, keep the ticket stubs, wristbands, lanyards, hotel key-cards or postcards and pop them into the jar, with the date written on the back.
Kids can be encouraged to collect a special shell from the beach trip, pebble from the park, autumn leaf after a walk in the woods, cake topper from the birthday party, programme from the ballet show etc and again, write the date on the back using a pigment pen.
Use the blank cards to write a specific memory that might not have an actual keepsake attached, such as “Watched Miss 7 perform in the nativity show tonight. She sang beautifully and loved being up on the stage!” or “took the kids to visit Aunty Trixie in the care home and she said it was ‘better than Christmas’ to see them all.” Etc!
Easy and achievable, right?!
You could use it for:
recording baby’s “firsts”
funny things the kids say (I *always* wish I had written more of these down!)
special moments with family and friends
date nights or anniversary moments with a spouse
the Christmas or birthday wishl-ist made by your kids (these are lovely to look back on over time!)
a family photo
special drawings or trinkets that the kids have made that link to a certain memory e.g. a watercolour postcard of a place visited (such as the one pictured above)
At the end of the year (or month by month if that’s doable too), remove the items and either stick the notes into a memory book or just put them all into an empty shoe box with the year marked clearly on top, and then reuse the jar for the year after!
Do you have any family traditions for memory keepsakes? Please do share with us in the comments! I hope you’re encouraged to try this keepsake memory jar along with us this year! Tag me on twitter or instagram so we can all see each other’s progress.