For Mother’s Day this year I decided to skip the spa treatment and give my mom a year’s worth of appreciation – I made her a Gratitude Jar. A Gratitude Jar is a simple container filled with slips of paper with words and ideas that symbolize all the blessings in our lives.
Each day — or whenever we feel the need to recall all the goodness surrounding us – we can reach our hand into the jar and select a piece of paper. Slowly unfolding it, a word appears that conjures the image of what we love most in life.
In this way, each slip of paper is like a piece of emotional candy and our treat is a good thought or cherished memory wrapped in brightly colored paper. These slips of paper are so powerful, we don’t even need to dip our hand in the vessel to feel good. Just seeing the jar stuffed to the brim with tokens of beauty is enough to create feelings of love and comfort.
I had a great time creating the jar for my mum. I made a long list of all the goodness that surrounds her – a loving family, loyal friends, beautiful landscapes, cherished pets, favorite foods and enjoyable activities. I also included iconic images of loveliness like exotic flowers, moonlit starry nights, bright sunny days, warm sandy beaches.
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I then took my time to find pretty bits of paper to hold each word, choosing a selection of origami paper, kaleidoscopic and just the right size and shape to hold a single image. I shopped for the jar and tied it with a colorful satin ribbon. I wanted to transform the jar into a treasure chest overflowing with personal sentiments made especially for her!
Sharing the Sweetness
As I was crafting her Gratitude Jar, I realized that I got to put the tiniest bit of myself in it. By conjuring images and creating the remembrance, I felt I got to share in her happiness. And I felt my own sense of gratitude that she is living such a bountiful life.
From time to time we talk about what word she drew from the jar that day – but only once in a while. The Gratitude Jar is hers, for her own reflection and private thoughts. It’s her reservoir of happiness. Her private world wrapped up in a ribbon and shining bright on her dresser. A symbol of all that is good in her world.
Just a jar. But filled to the brim with delectable bits of enchantment to savor the whole year long.
This piece was contributed by Erin Michelson. To learn more about the Delivering Happiness movement, click here.