Looking for a new idea for a loved one for Valentine's Day? I think this one is rather fun! Give them a jar full of memories.
I saw this on the old Oprah show several years ago. It's really simple and straightforward. Just get a pretty jar or dish and write memories of that person on little slips of paper. You can do this for parents, your kids or grandkids, a dear friend, your spouse...the list goes on and on.
When I saw this on Oprah's show, I shared it with a friend. She had seen the same show too. We both decided to do this for our husbands for Valentine's Day. I believe she even did one for her mother. We had fun sharing our ideas.
Just go to the shops you enjoy to pick out a vase or dish or basket. Something that would match their decor or that they would like. I even looked at some candle holders--that way after the holiday and all the reading of memories, you can use it for candles. Sometimes vases just get put up in the closet and forgotten. Use a vessel that you (or the recipient) might use--like a candle holder or a big coffee mug.
Once you've got your jar or vase, then write your memories on slips of paper and place inside. The memories are strictly up to you. They can be anything. Writing for your spouse or significant other? Write how you met, what you love about her, trips you've taken, how they've been supportive....you get the idea. Writing for a grandchild? Memories of their birth, fun things you've done together and silly things they've said.
And single slips of paper are fun, but it might be even more creative to put a ribbon on each so they have to pull them out. Or put them on a decorative straw or pencil.
You could even put some chocolate kisses or other candies in the dish. And you might also forget the vase and put your memories in balloons. A friend did my blog back in June. She shared how she and her siblings did "thanks for the memories" for their dad. They put their good thoughts and memories in balloons, and he had to pop each and read them. How fun to do for Valentine's Day too.
On another note:
I really think when I saw this Oprah show, it was actually about doing a memory jar for someone you might be estranged from. It's a way to attempt to heal a broken relationship. It's one of those exercises that helps the giver as well as the memory jar recipient. So there's no time like Valentine's to create and give such a jar. You never know the healing it can bring until you try it.
I just think Valentine's Day is a day to be a kid again and have some fun with this holiday. It's a February holiday that can bring you out of your winter funk. A memory jar--give it a try!
Okay, all you retirees out there who may or may not be grandparents! I've got another craft idea for you. Hey! It's a good way to pass the time because you're either snowed in or you simply don't want to get out in the bone-chilling cold.
What is it? Making prayer boxes! And then you have an item you can pass on to a friend or family member who might be going through a difficult time.
All you need are some empty Altoid boxes, some washi tape or paints, ribbons, buttons, lace, and other embellishments. Oh, and don't forget your hot glue gun. I've posted some websites below if you like more detailed instructions.
And that really is all there is to it. I actually just found some prayer boxes on Pinterest that I liked and copied them, more or less. I will tell you that I bought some pretty scrapbook paper at the craft store, and proceeded to simply decoupage the paper after I traced a pattern from the tin. But that didn't work; it came right off after it dried. I'm guessing the smooth tin top needed to be sanded a bit so it would take the glue. So I ended up just using a combination of double-sided tape and hot glue. That's what I used for the top. I used washi tape for the sides. Washi tape comes in so many cool patterns and colors.
Finally, you glue the sweet sentiment inside the lid, include some paper you've cut for the recipient to write their prayer, and a small pen. I found those pens, small enough for an Altoid box, at a party supply store in the party favors section. Viola! You have a sweet gift to give someone to let them know you're praying WITH them.
You could even tuck in a small verse about prayer if you wanted. There's this one from the Bible:
"But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou has shut thy door, pray to thy
Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."
These thoughts from Kahil Gibran:
"You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance. For what is prayer but the expansion of yourself into the living ether?"
And since I made a box with a Native American theme, I share some of their prayers:
"As I walk, as I walk, the universe is walking with me. In beauty it walks before me. In beauty it walks behind me; in beauty it walks below me. In beauty it walks above me. Beauty is on every side. As I walk, I walk with Beauty." Traditional Navajo prayer
And this one from the Cherokee:
"May the warm winds of Heaven blow softly upon your house. May the Great Spirit bless all who enter there. May your moccasins make happy tracks in many snows. And may the Rainbow always touch your shoulder."
I share this craft with you. I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for craft ideas, and ones that might lift someone. After all, we're just walking each other home.
I close my blog this week with 1 Thessalonians 4:11~
"Aspire to live a quiet life, to mind your own affairs and to work with your hands."
Prayer boxes ideas:
I'm sure you've all seen the above quote and others like them. I feel the same way about family photos. Why have them hidden away in an old box or scrapbook? Get them out--enjoy them NOW!
I know most of us have a lifetime of photos hidden away in a box in the attic. Or if you're like my husband, you've meticulously documented them all in scrapbooks. But honestly, who looks at them? And they're fun and interesting and educational. Get them out and I'll show you what to do.
Simply go through your boxes or scrapbooks and find some photos that your friends and family would enjoy. Get old ones, new ones, funny ones, outtakes and goof-ups. Vacation shots, old school photos, scenery and portraits. Anything and everything. And if you're worried about oily fingers handling them, then simply make a copy and then display the copies. Change them out periodically. Just put them in a pretty dish or basket and set them out. There's something about them being in a bowl that even friends visiting will pick up and look at them. It's a great conversation starter with friends and family. And always good for some laughs.
You get the idea. Just some random pictures through the years.
Next you'll need a pretty container. First shop your house (as they say on HGTV). You'll probably find a pretty tray or basket in which to display your old photos. If not, go window shopping like I did at a home goods store:
And that's it! Why on earth should those precious photos be up in the attic or on some shelf in a scrapbook? Display them this way for all to see. And what great conversation starters, as well as a way to share your family history.
And here's another idea. My sister thought of this one. A few years ago when she and my brother-in-law moved from their large family home to a garden home, she was dismayed as to what to do with all those family photos that they had accumulated over the years. She came up with a plan to go through them and divvy them up between her son and daughter.....paying attention to the ones her daughter would like and the ones her son and his family would cherish. Then she decided that the way to give them to each, was to put them in a pretty wooden box. I never saw what she used, but on my window shopping trip, I found some fabulous wooden boxes and small chests. Take a look:
Again, sharing old treasured family photos--two plans:
"What I like about photographs is they capture a moment that's gone forever..." Karl Lagerfeld
"Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film, you have captured forever...it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything." Aaron Siskind
Do you know about hygge? It’s a wonderful concept of home and hearth with principles to use throughout the seasons, but the concepts of hygge really enhance the winter season. The ideas have been around a while here in the United States, but it seems I’m always late to the party. I share with you in case you’re not familiar with this concept. It’s a good one!
What is hygge? (Pronouced hoo-gah) It is a Danish term used to describe an ambience that one creates in their home of calmness and coziness and peace. It is about enjoying the warmth of your home and family and immersing yourself in the smaller things in life--a warm fire, ambient lighting, good food. In the winter it can be about grabbing a good book, snuggling up with a warm quilt and simply enjoying some "you" time.
Components of hygge:
Once I learn a new concept, I'm all about sharing it. I love hygge, and decided to make it a theme for a care package for my sweet sister-in-law. She goes above and beyond helping others. She's incredible and one of those people you tend to take for granted. I decided enough of that--I was going to send her a little box of hygge simply to show her I care and am grateful for all she does.
Here's what I put in her box of HYGGE:
You know those summertime pictures people post on Facebook? You know the ones I mean--the photos of their feet positioned on a deck or lounge chair by the pool or beach with a tropical drink in hand. That picture! Well, my hygge friends and I post our hyggelig pictures--warm mug in hand, wrapped in a warm blanket with our cozy sock-clad feet showing. I asked Donna to do the same. Here's her picture after she got her package. She's a good sport!
And there you have it! The concept of hygge. And if you already know about this Danish idea, then by all means, share. Another component of wintertime hygge is to invite family and friends over for a hearty meal. Share this Danish tradition! It will make you feel all warm and cozy inside!
Looking for a community service project to get the New Year off on a good start? How about making activity packets for children at the hospital? And if you can schedule a time to do it with your grandkids, even better!
This all came about when my granddaughter ended up in the emergency room a few years ago with what the doctor suspected was appendicitis. She was in the ER for tests. She was one scared eight-year-old. As she waited for various tests, the nurses brought her an activity packet. Her mother reported that this had really saved the day for them both!
When I heard their story, I knew I had to get involved creating such packets. I volunteer at the same hospital, so checked with the Children's Life facilitator asking her what they liked to see in such packets. I was set to go!
As you can see, it's a pretty straightforward procedure. Just check with your local hospital to see their needs and all the do's and don'ts. I aim for my packets to be for the 5-10 age group. I went to a party supply store to find party favors that would be appropriate for such a packet. They have small packages of crayons, notepads, and even little activity books. My granddaughter reported having fun with pipe-cleaners, creating various items with those. The other items I just got online to find. It's probably easier for you just to peek inside our packets:
This is certainly a project we grandparents can do on our own. But I started my latest packets just a couple of weeks ago, and it worked out where my grands were on a long holiday break, so they came over one day to help me get the supplies ready and to stuff the packets. It's always fun with those two.
And that's it!
Besides helping me ready the supplies, the girls also acted as my guinea pigs, especially with the pipe cleaners. I wanted to see if they could actually create something with the pipe cleaners by just looking at the picture. It seemed to work.
We packed up all supplies and instructions, and got everything ready for delivery. I think it's a fun project and one that might help out a scared child that finds herself in the hospital emergency room or in the hospital for a brief procedure. There's always that wait time that is hard for kids and parents to deal with.
"Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others." Brian Tracy
"You have not lived today until you have helped someone who can never repay you."
Websites for packet ideas:
The love goggles:
Besides doing this on your own or involving your grandkids, you could do it as a group project. When I first approached the Children's Life coordinator at the hospital, she said she had just received a delivery of fun packets from the Junior League. So how about doing it with your book club or bunco group or Bible study friends. The little guys could do it with their Scout troops. The ideas are endless, and it fulfills a real need.
Happy New Year. Here's hoping 2019 is
our best year ever!
Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!