Friday, January 2, 2015

Memories in a Plastic Container Thingy (my take on Memories in a Jar)

This is real.  This is life.  These pictures portray real life in the Petty house.  For example, Daddy is not so enthused.  There is a bit of Christmas clutter in the background (yes, a Costco size bag of red solo cups was one of the big gifts this year).  The plastic container thingy that holds our memories looks like a time capsule made by a 1st grader from the early 1900s.  

I think the old saying, "you can't judge a book by it's cover" applies here.  Basically, what I am trying to say is that I am not the most organized or the most crafty person in the world.  The container may be less than admirable, but it is what's inside that counts.

However, having said that,  this family activity was so much more fun than anticipated that I had to risk my stellar crafty reputation and share.  

You may have seen it circulating on Facebook.  

You may have seen the cute jar with the smiley faces and the pen inside.  Or the jar with the pretty ribbon and label, which I have to say I came down with a small case of "Facebook depression" as I was scrolling because...  

Mine looks like this...

Without further ado... meet the star of this post...the plastic container thingy. 

Well, in the picture below, you can see the plastic container thingy surrounded by my family and our family friend.  I am happy she could join us for the reading of the memories (read like this- and NOOOOW for the Reading of the Memoriiiiies!!)  because it just so happened that she stopped by on New Year's Day.  She was a great sport!  Especially because she kept picking ones that were illegible because I scribbled them down so fast and one that doubled as a note pad because I used it to take a message from a phone call.  

Enough chit chat.  Here is what we did:

  • Kept the plastic container thingy in the kitchen all year with a pen and strips of paper nearby
  • Anyone in the family can write down notable moments, funny moments, good things that happened, blessings, etc.  
  • On New Year's Eve or day, open them up and read them.
It is that simple.  

Our memories were mainly from the first half of the year.  We fizzled out during the second half of the year.  BUT, now that we know how fun it is to read them, we will keep it up in 2015! 

It kind of looks like we are about to have a seance and summon spirits from the plastic container thingy, but the candle is a coincidence because that was the gift we just received from our friend.  It did add some nice ambiance, though! 

Pilar, our daughter enjoyed participating.  She was so happy when she picked out the piece of paper that said, "4/8/14   Pilar came to live with us!"   I loved seeing her excitement and joy when she picked that one.  

I love this one that Carmen wrote all on her own.  She was looking forward to her birthday in July.

Emmett was embarrassed at one of them and didn't want me to read it.  Yes, he is almost 8.  I am still not used to him getting embarrassed easily!  Poor guy.  The children really did enjoy reading ones that were about them.  It was fun to see what we randomly picked.

OK, this was adorable!  John observed what everyone was doing as we went around the table.  Pick one out, open it up and read it.  Well, he did the same thing.  And when he opened it up, he started doing this barely audible, adorable little mumble, just like he was reading it.  He would smile when he heard his name and laughed along with us.  

I love this one that Carmen wrote.  Her first kiss from her brother.  AW.  Glad it is recorded for posterity because that is most likely the LAST kiss from her brother, as well. 

As each person finished reading, he/she handed me the strip of paper and I flattened it out and put it in this business envelope.  Again, PLEASE do not be jealous of my craftiness.  

Here is what I am planning for this year.  I will cut strips of paper from this drawing book and keep these butterfly and truck stickers nearby.  As a little motivation for writing a memory to put in the plastic container thingy, the children can put a sticker or two on the strip of paper and decorate it.  Now THAT is crafty.

By the way, no one is allowed to do anything memorable or cute until I get those strips of paper cut up and organized.

Maybe my children can teach ME a thing or two about craftiness, since this was my brilliant idea for next year.  I crossed out the 14 and put 15 above it.  And yes, it is the same plastic container thingy.  

Joking and self-deprecation aside...

Looking back on 2014 in this way was really fun for a few reasons:
  • Seeing the children's faces light up when they saw what was on the paper. 
  • Remembering good times as a family. 
  • Reading things we completely forgot about and then got to enjoy all over again while remembering it.

In closing, I highly encourage you to participate in this in this activity.  Whether you use a plastic container thingy or a gold plated treasure box similar to the one in which the three wise men brought Jesus their gifts.

Regardless of the container, the memories are priceless and best enjoyed around a table in a loving home with family and friends at the start of a promising new year.

Please remember that this activity is not just limited to families with children.  Why not do it with your spouse of significant other if you do not have children?   How about including your pets?  You would have to do all the writing, but you could still have good memories and blessings for your home to remember at the end of the year.

So whatever your home or family situation may be, have a blessed and happy New Year filled with joy, good memories and love...

all conveniently stored in a plastic container thingy or NOT!


  1. I really enjoyed this post, especially the part about summoning spirits from the plastic thingy! Thank you for encouraging us to try this activity, and for the reassurance that it doesn't have to be perfect!

    1. Aw so glad you liked it. Thanks for stopping by! haha I have to say every time I reread that part about the spirits and the candle, I laughed out loud. :) I love those funny coincidences. Happy memory making!