Thursday, January 6, 2011
A Worthwhile Tradition
I'm not sure how this tradition got started, but sometime when I was a kid, my parents started a "Gift of Love Jar." When the decorations came out in early December, so did the jar. Next to it were small pieces of paper to write down gifts of love. The catch was that you could not write them about yourself. You had to notice other people doing something nice, helpful or loving for you or for others and write it down. When we were kids, we used to do extra things just hoping our name would pop up in the jar. We might sneak around making people's beds, or do dishes without being asked etc. Then on Christmas Eve, after all the celebrations, we would open the jar and read all the gifts of love that were given throughout the month. A few years ago, my brother gave us each our own jar and we have continued the tradition in our house. For some reason, we didn't do gifts of love as a whole family this year so on Sunday after Christmas, we sat down in our little family and read the gifts of love. The value of this tradition was reinforced for me as I read paper after paper that Sydney had written. I helped her write her first one and gave her an idea of what should be written down but after that she was on her own. I was touched by the fact that she noticed the nice things people did for her and thought to write them down. If you are looking for a new tradition to start in your family, give the "Gift of Love Jar" a try. It will bring your family and increase in service to one another, and an increased appreciation for how much others do for you on a daily basis.