I just saw a great idea for a New Year’s Eve activity on someone’s Facebook Newsfeed. Basically, you take a jar and decorate it to make it personal—write your name in glitter glue, cover it with photographs, crochet a fancy cover—making it as simple or as complicated as you want to. And then, throughout 2015, whenever you achieve a goal or reach a significant milestone, you write your success on a slip of paper and put it into the jar. Then, next New Year’s Eve, you can read all the slips of paper and reflect on your accomplishments. The point is that instead of looking back at what you did wrong and should be resolving to change, you can look back on what you did well in the past year and focus on being proud of yourself. It’s perfect, too, because it’s a craft that adults and kids can all do together this year, and then an experience that they can all enjoy together before 2016 begins. Here’s a link to the Buzzfeed article about it.
Isn’t this a great idea? You really should do it. I’m not going to, though, and there are several reasons why.
First of all: the jars. Where am I supposed to get enough clean, glass, lidded, medium-sized jars with such short notice? Should I have been saving all of my empty pasta jars and olive oil bottles and empty tins of formula in anticipation of a craft I hadn’t heard of yet? Because I didn’t do that. And I don’t see myself doing so anytime soon. Also, I would have to root through my bin of craft supplies to find the glitter glue and feathers and pipe cleaners, and then I’d have to go to a dollar store or craft store to supplement the supplies. That seems like a lot of work.
Secondly: the children. Doing crafts with kids is always a major test of patience for me. It’s a constant tug-of-war between “Help me!” and “I wanna do it myself!” If the end result is going to look nice, it will be at a high cost—an exhausted Mommy and one or more crying and frustrated toddlers who wanted to touch everything but kept getting pushed aside. Instead, we will almost certainly end up with jars that have nothing on them but a few blobs of glitter glue, and a very big mess to clean up. Photographs will certainly not be an option because I haven’t gotten any of those developed since before the baby was born. Baby R, that is (my SECOND youngest).
Finally: the end result. This craft/activity is such a nice idea, but I have enough foresight to know that I will be terrible at it. Come 2016, we will open the jars to discover that Child #1 has 47 accomplishments in her jar, while Child #2 has four of them. And how will I feel if Child #3 STILL doesn’t have “Pees in the Potty!” as an accomplishment? This all seems like a recipe for Mommy Guilt, and I think we can all agree that I have enough of this going on.
But seriously, if you are the type of person with a stash of lidded jars, toddlers who can watch/help make a craft without destroying it, and the desire to write down wonderful memories throughout the year, you should definitely do this. Let me know how it goes. Maybe I’ll be more ambitious next year. In fact, maybe I’ll start collecting the jars now. Then again, probably not. Even though we are not doing this, I think that somehow my little family will still have memories to share and accomplishments to celebrate. And that’s good enough for me.