There are many versions of the Journal Jar. It can be given with a scrapbook or journal. It also can be used to spark conversation. There are lists in the Family History file that can be used as alternate questions. A journal jar is a nice gift for graduation, retirement or a milestone birthday. There's a variation called Scrapbook Idea Jar for when you have 'scrapper's block'.
The Journal Jar
Most of this idea is from Jean Gifford)
Life was not meant to be bottled up forever. This jar is jam-packed with 160
delicious and interesting questions to inspire you to celebrate something very important...YOU!
Combine a generous slice of your life history with a dash of nostalgia and several cups of facts and feelings. Fold in several sheets of photographs.
If you will follow this simple recipe, you will find that by this time next year, you will have one very delicious, personal history finished. All you need to do is draw out one slip of paper daily or weekly...On it you will find a question. Spend a few minutes or just enjoy remembering. Then mount the question at the top of a blank page and begin to write and mount photos or other memorabilia and answer the question. Don't worry about the spelling, handwriting, etc. Just tell YOUR story! This product was prepared to preserve your life as a message. Enjoy the scrumptious, homemade memories.
- What lessons did you take as a child? Did any carry over into adulthood?
- Describe your first job.
- What is the most wonderful thing that ever happened to you?
- What was the worst thing that ever happened to you?
- Did you have a close relationship with any of your grandparents? Tell about it.
- What were your father's best traits? His worst? What traits do you share?
- Describe your Sundays as a child.
- Tell about your favorite Aunt or Uncle
- What is your advice for good health?
- How many brothers and sisters do you have? Tell about each of them.
- Tell about a practical joke that was played on you or that you played on someone else.
- What did you do when you were a child that got you in the most trouble and how did your parents handle it?
- What are some of the superstitions that you remember growing up with?
- Describe your parent's courtship and wedding as best you can.
- What is the most important lesson, message, or advice that you have learned that you might pass on to others?
- What convinced you most in your choice of a spouse?
- Tell something about each of your children, their personalities, their talents, and the traits that make them each special and unique.
- Write a want ad that describes your spouse.
- Tell about a frustrating experience you have had with a car.
- Did it snow where you lived as a child? What kinds of things did you do when it snowed?
- Describe a typical day during your high school years.
- What are your favorite colors, flowers, food, activities and hobbies?
- Tell about a special date you had with a girl/boyfriend.
- What things do you enjoy today that you enjoyed doing as a child?
Describe them then and now.
- How did you like being the oldest, youngest or middle child? What were the advantages and disadvantages?
- Do you have a favorite author--who? why?
- Describe a trip downtown as a youngster.
- Tell about your favorite books as a child, youth, adult.
- What kinds of chores were you responsible for while you were growing up? Tell about them.
- What board games or card games did you play while growing up? Who did you play with?
- Did you ever go bowling? Tell about it.
- What were swimming suits like when you were young?
- Tell about an experience with one of your children's teachers.
- Were you ever lost as a child? Tell about it.
- Did you ever break a bone or have stitches? Tell about it.
- What were you afraid of as a child? Why? Did this fear follow you into adulthood?
- Tell about a time in your life when you were surprised. Tell about a time that you surprised someone.
- Tell about sibling rivalry within your family.
- Describe your room as a child. Did you have your own room or have to share it with a sibling? Tell some experiences.
- Do you remember your family getting a new piece of furniture, a new car or something similar when you were a child?
- Tell about what you did while visiting your grandparents or aunt and uncle.
- Did you ever roller skate, ice skate, ski, or something similar?
- Did you share any special interest with your mother or father?
- Did you walk to school or ride a bus?
- Where did you live while growing up? (city, state, country)
- What was one of your favorite treats as a child?
- Did your grandmother make any special desserts or food that you enjoyed?
- Tell about a time that you helped someone in time of need.
- Tell about a time that someone helped you in time of need.
- Tell about your first car.
- Have you ever picked up a hitchhiker? Or been one?
- Tell about your first serious boy/girlfriend.
- What form of transportation did you have while growing up?
- Tell about a party that you hosted at your house or your parent's house.
- Tell about a disastrous experience.
- Did you ever save money for a big purchase?
- Did you go to college or have vocational training--where or when?
- What do you think about movies--what is your favorite movie and why?
- Who was your best friend while you were growing up? Do you still associate with them?
- What did your parents do for work while you were growing up?
- What is your favorite book?
- Tell about an experience you had with your friends while growing up.
- Tell about the most trying experience you have ever had.
- Tell about going to a high school dance.
- Describe the places where you hung out with your friends as a teenager.
Tell about a person in school who was mean or snobby.
- Tell about a double date.
- What games did you play in your neighborhood?
- Tell about some of your family traditions--Christmas, birthdays, Graduation,
4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, hunting, funerals, weddings, Mothers and Fathers Day.
- Do you remember any outstanding family trips or vacations?
- Tell about where you were and what you remember at the time of a historic event in your lifetime.
- Did you have a bicycle? What was it like?
- Describe a childhood birthday.
- Describe a childhood Christmas.
- Describe a typical school day as a child in elementary school.
- What education did you receive other than at school?
- What was your favorite place to go with your family when you were young?
- Tell about retirement. When, where and what will you do (or are you doing)
with your time?
- Write one sentence that tells "how to live successfully".
- Would you choose differently if you could choose occupations again? Why? Any advice?
- What was your most embarrassing moment?
- Describe the most serious illness or accident you have had.
- Describe your first home as a young couple.
- Describe your wedding day.
- Did you have a job as a child? (paper route, lawn mowing, babysitting, etc.)
- What were some of your favorite playground activities?
- What fragrance would you say takes you back in time and what does it remind you of?
- Where did you go to meet new people when you were in your youth?
- Tell about your temperament as a child--has it changed?
- Did you ever set anything on fire or know someone who did?
- Did you ever get a spanking? Grounded? Tell about what you did and the punishment.
- Tell about a star gazing experience.
- Have you ever spent any time out of the USA?
- Describe how the ways of doing household chores was different when you were growing up than it is today.
- Did you ever have a favorite scary story while you were growing up? What was it about?
- Did you ever have a graveyard or a haunted house experience?
- Did you ever keep a secret about someone? Are you still keeping it today? Tell about it if you can!
- Tell about going to the County Fair or the amusement park when you were a child.
- Describe getting a Christmas tree with your family as a child. Tell when and how it was decorated.
- Tell about "hand-me-downs" you received or gave.
- Tell about the "Tooth Fairy" and other personages you remember.
- Tell about learning a skill from either of your parents, cooking, sewing, cleaning, fixing things, etc.
- Describe what you think it is like to live with you.
- Describe one of your favorite outfits of all time...a dress, shoes, shirt, hat.
- How did you feel about school?
- Were you or do you remember anyone in your school class being punished by a teacher?
- List and tell about at least three good qualities about yourself.
- What do you feel has been the most significant event that has taken place in your lifetime and how has it affected you?
- Tell something you remember about your relationship with your grandfather.
- Tell something you remember about your relationship with your grandmother.
- Tell about the homes you lived in as a child. Do you remember any of the addresses or telephone numbers? Who lived next door?
- Tell about your involvement with a civic or political group.
- Did you grow up with music in your family?
- Tell about a bully in your neighborhood or at school.
- Name the most romantic song you can remember and tell why.
- Make a list of the things in your junk drawer and tell why you are keeping them.
- Tell about some of the most exciting experiences with scouting.
- List a few of the simple things in life that make you smile and tell why.
- Name the personality trait you most admire and tell why. Do you know many people with this trait?
- Do you remember your favorite childhood fantasy?
- Did your mother or grandmother sew, quilt, knit or crochet? Tell about things made.
- Describe a typical day in your life from what time you get up in the morning to bedtime.
- Tell about being a grandparent. Name your grandchildren.
- How did you feel when you first became a grandparent?
- Tell about how, when and where you learned to drive a car. Any accidents or tickets?
- Tell about a special anniversary.
- Did you have a childhood hideout? Where? Describe it. What kinds of things did you do there?
- Tell about religion practiced in your home.
- Tell of a time that you felt God was there to help you in your struggles.
- Tell about the experience or person you feel was the most influence in your life.
- Was there a special teacher in your life? (Not necessarily in a school environment).
- Tell about the changes in society in general you have seen in your lifetime.
- Tell about the changes in morality you have seen during your lifetime.
- Tell about fashion trends you have seen in your life, what you wore as a child, teen, and adult.
- Tell about a food that you hated as a child...do you like it now?
- If you could be an animal what would you be and why?
- Write about a "one on one" experience you had with your father.
- Write about a "one on one" experience you had with your mother.
- Tell a story your mother told you from her past.
- Were you ever in a drama or speech class, on a sports team, or in a club?
- What is one of the most exciting places you have ever visited? What made it so exciting?
- Tell about a camping or fishing experience.
In a lot of ways this is just the opposite of a Journal Jar. Instead of questions for people to respond to you put down memories, quotes, sayings, Bible verses, feelings, advice, words of encouragement, etc. for someone to read. You can put them on little scrolls tied with ribbon or just on slips of paper. You can hand write them or print them on the computer. The idea is for the person to read one each day. You can make them to last a month or a year or whatever you wish.
This would make a great gift for graduation, Father's Day, retirement, wedding or just about any occasion. It would be a special gift that would "fit" everyone. The jar could be plain or decorated very fancy.
Another Journal Jar Idea
(submitted by Ann Boldt)
Give this to your favorite person (mom, dad, grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc.) then match/find photos that go with each story or era or subject. What an awesome gift from a grandparent to a grandchild/great-grandchild! Who cares if it's not chronological...our memories aren't chronological. If a question doesn't fit, change it to a question that does.
You need a quart canning jar with lid and ring, a small piece of cloth, some raffia and the following material. The idea is to cut the question in strips and place them in the jar. Put the material under the ring on top of the jar, and tie raffia around the neck of the jar with the card
We printed the strips on beige paper. The tag that goes on the outside of the jar was printed on tag board in beige and tied with beige raffia. The card was trimmed with pinking scissors and cut in an rectangle shape with one end rounded. The person takes out one strip a day and uses that to write a journal entry.
The card that goes on the outside of the jar says:
RECIPE FOR MY LIFE HISTORY
Combine a generous slice of your life history, a dash of nostalgia, several cups of facts and feelings and 104 deliciously interesting questions. Draw one slip of paper. Take a few minutes to enjoy the memories. Paste or write the question at the top of a blank page. Fill in your answer. Don't worry about your handwriting or spelling--just tell your story. This product was prepared to preserve your life as a message. Enjoy the scrumptious, home-made memories that celebrate something very important--YOU!
The strips to cut apart and place in the jar are:
(NOTE: I did not include ideas that were duplicates from the list above. You might want to use things from both lists.)
- Describe a favorite vacation of your married years.
- Tell about home cures or old wives tales, hiccups, toothaches, earaches, arthritis.
- Where were you and what were you doing the day the wall came down in Germany, Dec. 7th--World War II started, president Kennedy was shot, etc.
- Describe your wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, suit etc, if male.
- Write a description of your husband or wife.
- Describe your mother's wedding dress--what do you know about her wedding?
- What is your greatest joy, your greatest sorrow?
- What is your favorite book and what do books mean to you.
- Describe your yard as a child--did you help with the yard work? What are your memories--Draw a diagram if you can.
- Tell about Family Reunions.
- Tell about your teen-age social life--your friends, dances, dating, outings, church functions etc.--
- What would you like to be remembered for?
- How did your father spend his time supporting his family?
- Tell about your life as the children left home--new interests, what did you do with the extra time--new employment, moves, hobbies, etc.
- Tell about handed-down talents, foods, clothespin dolls, willow whistles, pottery, quilting, whittling, meat drying etc.
- What were the favorite places to go with your family when you were young?
- Tell about any ancestors that you know about--name dates, etc. for historical purposes and any stories about them.
- Tell about anniversaries, celebrations, trips, and gifts.
- What were your fears, expectations, and anticipations about getting married?
- What is your mother's best trait? Worst? = the traits you share.
- How do you feel about winning? Losing?
- Tell about your courtship.
- Describe a favorite childhood friend and something you did with her or him.
- Have you met or worked with famous people? Who--Where- etc.
- How did you become engaged?
- What is your child-rearing philosophy?
- What can frighten you the most and why?
- Describe your conversion to the gospel.
- Do you wish you had more sisters or brothers, and why?
- Where did your Grandparents live? What was their home like? Did it have a certain smell or look?
- Write your testimony of life--marriage--the gospel.
- Tell about each of your children's names, birth date, where, doctors, circumstances surrounding the birth--raising them in the home- problems, joys etc.
- What is your advice to those younger than you?
- What is your favorite scripture and why?
- Tell about your first crush.
- What church callings have you had and which did you enjoy the most?
- Do you remember any of your four grandparents? Any greats? What were their names? Any memories that you have.
- Tell about your mother: personality, characteristics, stature, coloring, talents, temperament, family stories about her, her role in your home, etc.
- Do you have a favorite General Authority? Who and why?
- What do you fantasize about doing or being?
- What is your personal secret of happiness?
- Describe a perfect spring day and activities on that day?
- Thinking back was there a teacher who had a great influence on you?
- How did you become engaged?
- Did you have a favorite TV, radio, program as a child? Tell about it.
- Tell about a favorite trip or vacation.
- Write about some places you went with your father.
- Write about some places that you went with your mother.
- Describe a typical day during your Jr. High years.
- What kind of extra-curricular activities did you participate in at school?
- What do you think brings good or bad luck?
- Tell about all the places you have worked.
- What are your food preferences and how did they come about?
- How did your mother spend her time?
- Where you responsible for household chores? What were they? Which did you enjoy most/ least?
- What are your most deeply and embedded values?
More Journal Jar Ideas
I gave one to each customer on National Scrapbook Day after we did the crop talk. I decorated the jar with a label I made on the computer that told the ingredients and directions. Then, I put a label over the top of the baby food jar lid that said "Journal Jar". I tied a ribbon around the the lid. I cut apart the questions and put ten in each jar. I then asked for anyone to open her jar and share an answer to one of the questions. They had SO much fun and so did I. I found out all about my mother-in-law's first job! (Kimberly in TX)
I printed the pages of ideas from Denny's site using the same font and cut each strip apart. I printed one page on purple and the rest on white. The purple cost me more, of course, so I did mostly white, but the purple in between the white looked really pretty in the jar! I used 12 oz. jelly jar. It's tall and slender w/ the crystal look on the outside (just a few dollars at WalMart). I bought some dark floral print, cut it in square with pinking shears and put it on the jar lid. I retyped the ingredients, recipe, etc. to make it small enough to hang on the jar (I printed front and back and cut it with pinking shears), then hung it on the jar lid wrapped with raffia and tied it in a bow. (Angie in OK)