CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It's hard to believe it's already 2014! It seems like just a week ago we were all laughing at people who believed the world was ending based on the Mayan calendar. Regardless of whether you're happy or disappointed the apocalypse didn't come, it goes to show you how quickly a year goes by.
Now, think for a minute about 2013 and what memories you have of it. Chances are, you could only recall very specific ones, and most of them probably weren't that happy. A lot of the time, we seem to remember negative memories more than we do positive ones.
That's where a memory jar comes in handy. It allows you to keep a record of all the happy moments you experienced throughout a year.
It's not like a journal; the entries usually fit on a slip of paper or a Post-It note. Just date the paper, right down your memory and store it in the jar.
You can put in as many entries as you want, but keep in mind they should be significantly happy memories. It's completely fine if you go an entire month without adding to your jar.
Making a memory jar is simple. The jar itself can be any type you want, so long as it's relatively spacious. (A mason jar should be sufficient.)
Decorate the jar however you want. Some people like to paint it their favorite color, some paint a scene on it and some glue things such as gems to it. Get creative!
This is your jar full of your memories, and it can look however you want it to. Mine isn't even decorated at all, so I can see how full the jar is.
People usually start their memory jars at the beginning of the year, but don't worry about when you start yours. So long as you add to it for exactly one year, you're fine. (If you add to it 366 days after your start date, then you've messed up the project.) I suggest writing down the start date on a piece of paper and keeping it somewhere near the jar.
As I said earlier, most people just tear off slips of paper or use Post-It notes to write down their memories. If you go the Post-It note route, I encourage you to make sure they're colorful. (I use yellow, but there's a decent selection of colors to choose from.) They can be white if that's what you want, but neon colors add a sense of vibrancy that really enhances the fact that these are happy memories.
The last thing to remember is that you are not allowed to read any of your memories until the year has passed. Your memory jar is only to be opened when you're adding a new memory.
Also, make sure you have your entries folded, so you can't see any of the text. The fun comes from dumping them all out and being reminded of the various events throughout the year that made you genuinely happy.