If the parents/grandparents in your life are like those in mine, they are hard to shop for! My husband’s parents especially seem to have everything they could ever need or want, and they usually say they don’t want gifts anyway. They both turn 70 this year, so we all (six siblings, five spouses, and seven grandkids) decided to “gift” them a weekend with all of us together at Honey Creek Resort in Moravia, Iowa.
My husband’s sister Emily brought Mason jars (really, what CAN’T you do with Mason jars) and pretty paper with her on the trip. She had the idea to make “memory jars” for Grammy and Grandpa. Everyone in attendance discreetly wrote down their favorite memories they’ve made with the guests of honor, and then put them in the jars. It was a last-second thought, and a low cost project, but the reactions were priceless.
What you’ll need:
- One mason jar per recipient
- Small pieces of paper or card stock
- Lots of fun memories!
Some of the siblings also put in papers with “I’m most proud of Mom for…” and “I’m most proud of Dad for…” notes, if you want to go that route.
I must say, seeing my in-laws tear up as they started to read the memories was priceless. It was one of the most touching moments I’ve ever witnessed. From memories of getting into trouble at the Co-Op and picking out first apartments, to thriving after a kidney transplant and getting a Master’s degree at age 50 – we were all pretty choked up. We all had some good laughs, too. The little kids also got in on the act with kind words about Grammy’s cooking and taking rides on Grandpa’s Gator vehicle. I’ve only been a part of the Evans memory-making for 12 years, but I appreciated hearing about ALL of them! Seeing a large family reminisce about the many, many years of happiness they’ve had together was inspiring for me as a wife and mother. #goals
Families come in all shapes and sizes, all gender make-ups and ages, all income and education levels, etc. We are all different. But, what I saw in that resort suite as we celebrated two 70th birthdays showed me that all families have happy memories, and reliving them will make your heart swell with pride.
Give the gift of memories!
And, of course, these jars aren’t exclusive to parents/grandparents. Friends, spouses, teachers, and departing co-workers would surely treasure them as well.