Memory Jar Gifts

This is a memory jar I made for an anniversary gift
When I was a teenager, my father used to tuck me in at night with these touching words: "Someday, when I'm dead, you'll appreciate me."  Luckily, he's still alive, and I appreciate him. Maybe because of his morbid warning, I want to make sure that my loved ones know I appreciate them before they die.

A few years ago, for Father's Day, I made Dad a memory jar.  I took strips of paper and wrote down short memories.  It was slow-going at first.  But it helped that I could write just one sentence.  I wrote, "I remember how you drove me to dance class." And "I remember us building the rabbit cage together."  Once I got going, the memories started flowing, and I remembered a lot more little things I could write down.  The whole process made me feel more grateful and more connected to my wonderful father.  I stuffed the little colored strips of paper in a pint jar.  And, my dad--who's notoriously difficult to shop for--enjoyed reading through the little strips of paper.

I wrote down memories of my mom for the next Mother's Day.  Only, this time, I didn't use a jar. I wrote my sentences down on notecards and tied them with a ribbon.  Here are a couple of memories I wrote down:
  • I remember how you wallpapered my room and ran out of paper when you were 3/4 of the way through.
  • I remember learning birds' names.
  • I remember how you would wake me up singing "It's Uppy Uppy Time."
  • I remember playing car bingo.
  • I remember learning to sew on my Holly Hobby sewing machine.
Some of the memories showed how much my mom sacrificed for me, and others were just funny.

 The next year for my anniversary, I made a memory jar for my husband.  For this one, I didn't even use complete sentences, just little phrases that would jog his memory:
  • Dancing with the kids
  • Arizona mountains
  • Strawberry crepes
  • Visting the library together
I've heard of other people starting memory books, where they write down memories in a notebook or journal.  I love that idea too.  I think the great thing about the jar was that I could write as much or as little as I wanted to.  The recipient could also read as much or as little as they liked.


  1. Becky, your dad used to read Poe's "The Raven" to me as a bedtime story. Talk about morbid and not conducive to a sound sleep.

  2. Replies
    1. It's frugal too. For the one in the picture, I washed out an old candle jar. It smells really good when we open it.


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