One Simple Tradition to Bring More Joy to Your Family this Year and Beyond


Another annual calendar has been replaced, and another 52 weeks are ahead.

We want a more peaceful home, a loving and connected family, and to make memorable moments throughout this year ahead. But the truth is our busy, overwhelmed, distracted lives can easily hinder us. 

Yet, there are simple things we can do to create more joy and purpose during these days of raising our children and building our family legacy this year and beyond.

Start an Annual Joy Jar

I am a big fan of turning an empty glass jar into a treasure. (Read my blog post on 4 Ways to Create Meaningful Traditions in a Glass Jar)

Our annual family Joy Jar is one of my favorite simple glass jar traditions. It is simply a container on our kitchen counter and is a vessel to put mementos of fun memories throughout our year. 


Things you will always find in our Joy Jar are…

  • Ticket stubs (although they are rare anymore with the invention of apps and the internet)
  • Wristbands from events
  • Hotel room keys
  • Shells, rocks, acorns, or other treasures from time spent in the great outdoors

… you get the picture.

The goal is to go through the jar as a family on New Year’s Eve or Day and reminisce about everything you have done. So often, we feel like we’ve done very little, and doing this sparks our memories and gratitude for the many, even small, things we have done individually and together.

Now, you’ll want to add a little fun to this.

    1. Involve the kids in compiling things for the Joy Jar, although you will want to be the keeper of it so that all things that have little relevance to activities you did in the new year don’t end up there.
    2. On New Year’s, sit at the table (we usually do it over dessert) and pass the jar around the table, having each person pull something out. We cheer if we remember the memory or had a part in it. 
    3. After everything has been poured out, I like to put the contents into a Ziploc bag, mark the year on it, and throw it in my bin of things we will most likely never look at again. Or, some years, I throw everything away. 


It was amusing this year watching my college kids scramble to their wallets or bedrooms to try and find a few things to add to the jar since they live out of state most of the year. 


We all want and need more of these things in our lives and homes, so why not start a simple tradition like a JOY JAR in your home today?

Do you have this tradition or do anything similar?

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *