Glitzy dresses and fabulous stilettos. Bubbling champagne and fireworks. A magical kiss as the clock strikes midnight. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I’ve never experienced a New Year’s Eve like that. I ain’t that fancy.
That is what you usually see on television or in the movies, setting the bar pretty dang high for someone who likes to wear yoga pants more than anything and I honestly love to go to bed before 10:00 pm. I know how to have real fun!
Now, there is nothing wrong with making a big-to-do, hanging streamers and toasting to a new year. I believe in celebrating and finding joy in our lives. I am the biggest fan of birthdays and parties and Christmas and all happy things.
The expectations and pressure always get in the way. I remember talking with a friend one time who didn’t care for New Year’s Eve because of the pressure to do something “epic”. Feeling the need to have a story to tell to impress everyone; to feel special and maybe like you mattered. I resonate with that. I want to fight against that.
Mr. Engineer and I began something early on in our marriage as a way to root our lives in gratitude and start each year looking back on our blessings. We started documenting all the moments, big or small, by writing them on slips of paper, folding them up and placing them in a large jar on our shelf. Anything that made us laugh, a financial blessing, a career goal met, a car loan paid off, a food we liked, literally anything qualified as long as it brought us joy. On hard days, we would challenge ourselves by writing something and placing it in the jar. And when good things happened, “hey, that’s joy jar worthy!”
On New Year’s Day, we wake up and spread out our notes on the bed and take turns reading them to each other. It’s amazing how much we forget in a year. Some of them make me cry (of course) and others make us laugh. But I have found this is the best way to start a year. There is no better way to begin than with gratitude and a realization of all the ways our Heavenly Father continues to care for us. I don’t know about you, but I need these reminders often.
If you would like to make this tradition a part of your own life or your family’s life – I am making it really easy for you! I’ve handmade four joy jars that come with 52 sheets of note paper to get you started this year (enough for one note per week of 2017). Each jar is $15. See photos of each one below. This is a life-changing practice to begin whether you are single, married, or have a big family. Bonus – they make awesome gifts. Local readers – contact me if you would like one. Non-local readers, let’s chat about shipping!
***UPDATE: These jars have sold out. If you are interested in one, please let me know, and I can make one to order. Thank you!***
Happy New Year! xoxo