Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Favorite Gift...And It Didn't Cost Anything

     What is it? This was a Christmas Gift from my daughter a few years ago. It is a memory jar. It is something that I would grab on the way out of the door if the house was on fire. I actually made one for my parents a few years ago and a couple of years later, my daughter made one for me.

     You really only need a jar of some kind. It can be a decorative jar with a fancy bow, or a plain jar with a piece of ribbon around it. I promise you that the person you give it to will treasure the gift.

     All you need to do is spend a few days making a list of memories you share with the person/people you are giving it to. They can be good memories or even sad memories, the point is that they are special memories that will make the person who reads the note stop, smile and remember. Cut some small strips of paper (scrapbook paper is a good option, but computer paper works). Write a memory on each piece and fold it in half. Fill your jar. It is more difficult than you think, so allow a few days to really think about it. I went all the way back to my earliest memories with my parents, my daughter did the same...she just didn't have to remember as far back!

     The above note (I told my daughter what I was sharing) was in my jar. My daughter was very ill on a Disney vacation when she was 5. While our luggage was staying in an expensive Disney hotel...all four of us spent several days and nights at an Orlando hospital. I slept at the foot of my daughter's bed. She was fine, but it certainly is a memory for our family.

     My daughter is 25 and she moved to Orlando 2 1/2 years ago, to work for Disney. I guess the experience didn't ruin her opinion of WDW. She is a remarkable young woman and we have a very special relationship. In other words, I miss her like crazy...but, she is living her dream and that makes me very happy. On days when I'm really missing her, I just pull a little note from the jar and somehow she doesn't seem so far away.


Julie@beingRUBY said...

Dear Sue
OMG.. this is so sweet it made me cry
[I get emotional when I'm tired.. hehe]

But really it is so sweet...and I think the perfect present!! I'm pretty sure your daughter is proud of you too! I can just imagine all of you sleeping at the foot of the bed. How scary that must of been having a young child sick.. but look at the impact that moment has had on your daughter's perception of the world.. How wonderful!! As good as Disney Land I think.

Well.. thanks for your comments over my way. It was 43c yesterday and only 20c today.. Go figure!! Still stuck in the muck but everytime my head gets confused.. i take a break and visit a blog.. Got to stop doing that.. my head is gettting confused a LOT!! haha

Take care xx Julie

FrugalMom said...

This really is a fantastic gift Sue, and so incredible thoughtful.

cristie said...

sweet. xox

JUST ME said...

THANK YOU for that turkey advice. I've been doing my research so I don't inadvertently kill someone...

Maria said...

This is so sweet, Sue! I could see even making one of these for people you have worked with a long time, or long-time neighbors...etc...
Family, definitely!
You and your daughter have wonderful memories... and wonderful blessings because you are so close in heart. My kids made me a memories scrapbook for my 50th (a few years ago :) I treasure it. They were each responsible for so many pages.

I love this idea! Simple and very, very personal.
ps. My niece is graduating from a special program in VanCouver. Her dream is to work for Disney or somewhere similar.
Congrats on your daughter's job!

"A dream is a wish your heart makes..." and sometimes it comes true!

dee dee said...


Love this idea! Perfect gift for someone who has everything, and so meaningful to boot!
Dee Dee

Life Laugh Latte said...

Just what I was looking for. I need that tear jerker gift for the in-laws I adore this year. Every year I figure something out. LOVE this! Last year I took a picture of my Father-in-Law with my children and then asked them what they admire about him. I typed those short phrases on the computer in a nice font, bought a black frame with white mat at Pottery Barn ($20) and glue sticked the phrases to the mat. Framed the picture...done! He just kept shaking his head, wiping his tears as he read thru the sentiments. I'm all over the jar this year! Thanks...Love you MOM! Happy Thanksgiving...Holly

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

Holly-I'm so glad this idea works for you. I had as much fun making the one for my parents as I have reading the memories from my daughter. I love your gift from last year...don't you just love it when you give a gift and someone truly loves it.

Maria-I hope your niece gets to live her dream. My daughter loves it, but you really start at the bottom and it takes time to work your way up. She did an internship there in college and then went back the day after graduation.

Lexie said...

this entry made me wanna cry! what a sweet gift to receive.

susan said...

Sue- First, I have to say how much I love this post. You have brought up a very special young woman and given her the gift of gratitude. I sm SO glad you saw my error! I have fixed the recipe. I would say the top is like flan and the inside is like creme brulee. My caramelized sugar did not come out in one piece. I just cracked it and sprinkled it on top. Hope you will try this--it is fabulous! Happy Thanksgiving. Let me know if you make it!

Jaime said...

What a wonderful idea!
I know just the person that I would love to give something like this to.


BrightenedBoy said...

This is a really sweet idea. I've always been of the opinion that gifts you make are the best kind. A friend made me a scrap book of our time together for my 21st birthday and I consider it a very cherished possession.