My family and I recently started a new tradition: the gratitude jar. Every day, we write down something that we are thankful for on a small piece of paper and put it in the jar.
Before starting this habit, I had been thinking a lot about happiness. Specifically, positive thinking. When we think about things that make us happy, we feel good. Our day-to-day reality truly is one that we create with our thoughts. The gratitude jar helps us to find things to be thankful for, think positively, and feel happier.
Being grateful shifts our attitude to one of mindfulness, by reminding us of what we have, rather than what we lack.
The first time I wrote a grateful thought down on a piece of paper, and watched it flutter to the bottom of the jar, I almost immediately noticed a lift in my mood. It is one thing to think something, but actually writing it down seems to bring the thought into being. This tradition reinforces our positivity, thankfulness, and connectedness as a family. I recommend trying it!
Make It Your Own
I made our family gratitude jar, and decided to make one for my kids, too. It was a fun, simple craft, and I think this would make a fun project for little and older kids, as well!
To make our family gratitude jar, I painted the word “gratitude” on a plain glass jar. I also bought a pack of notecards, and stamped them on one side with a rubber stamp. For my kids’ jar, I re-purposed a plastic tub of pretzels that came with a lid, washed it, and painted the sides with favorite characters. I also made a few jars as gifts.
Oprah listed this gratitude jar in her “favorite things” in 2017, and it was the inspiration for the one I made. I think it would make a great gift, and you can find it on amazon here. There is also a book called The Gratitude Jar that you can find here, and one for children called The Blessings Jar that is available here.