A gift that takes minimal funds but will be giving for years to come – below, Mary Hunt explains how to create a “journal in a jar.” Stories from your loved ones that can be captured and shared with generations to come will have considerably more meaning than a sweater or glass object that requires dusting. At times its that little nudge that someone needs to start recording and reliving. Why not get started today?
Give the Legacy of a Life History
If you’re looking for a unique gift—one that will have a great deal of meaning for both you and your recipient—I have an idea. It’s called “Journal in a Jar.”
The idea is to assemble in a glass canning jar (or a box or other creative container) everything your recipient needs to write the story of his or her life: journal and pens, or fancy computer paper and a notebook. Possibly the most fun element of this gift is the year’s worth of specific questions that will act as daily idea starters for your recipient’s journal writing.
Questions like: Why was your name chosen for you? What was happening in the world when you were born? What is your personal secret to happiness? You can include as many questions or prompts as you like, however 365 insures a very complete journal that touches on all areas of a person’s life.
Once you’ve completed packaging the gift, you will want to add a tag or card that explains what this is and how the recipient will use it. Recipe for Your Life History. The purpose of this gift is to help you preserve a written account of your life. Instructions: Combine a generous slice of your life history, a dash of nostalgia, several cups of facts and feelings and [the number you come up with] deliciously interesting questions. Draw one slip of paper each day until all are gone. Paste or write the question at the top of a blank page. Fill in your answer. Enjoy the memories that celebrate something very important … You!
Not just a great gift idea for parents and grandparents, this is an idea for kids, too. Kids will love: Draw a picture of your favorite pet or animal. Draw a picture of your favorite thing to do in the summertime. Draw a picture of your favorite place to go. Draw a picture of your favorite thing to do with Grandma or Grandpa.
For an older child or teen: Tell about your favorite pet—what kind of animal is it? When did you get him/her? Tell about your hardest day at school. What is your favorite band?
Adapt your questions and prompts so the result will be more detailed and the answers more complete and specific. Make it fun by including questions you know will make the person laugh because the answers are so hilarious. Add a nice blank journal with plenty of pages. Attach one or more nice pens.
To help you get going I have posted hundreds of questions and prompts for all age groups—as young as 5 and as old as 105 at my website, www.debtproofliving.com. Copy and paste these and add your own unique questions, too. Print, cut apart and drop them into the jar or other container.
Like other gift jar ideas from my Gifts in a Jar ebooklet, Journal in a Jar is not a gift you can make on Christmas Eve. You need to get started now. And while you’re at it, make one for yourself. Your finished journal will be your life history and a legacy for your children.