I have no idea who started it, where it came from. I'd love to give credit but I can't. It might have come from this blog.
I love this idea. I've been struggling with just this sort of thing - I recognize the blessings when they happen but holding on to the feeling is a challenge. I don't know that I will wait until New Year's next year - I think anytime we are struggling with ingratitude in our family, we should break out the jar to review the good things and then add to it the things we are grateful for.
I also want to find the blessings in the hard times. When I am disappointed, I want to remember that on the other side of disappointment was something I was excited about. When I am stressed about my job, I want to remember my paycheck, my benefits, the people I work with. I want to use the Gratitude Jar to focus on the positive.
Best of all, I have the perfect jar. My good friend, Jennifer, gives cookie mixes in Ball jars every year. The jar is packed with all the dry ingredients for the cookies and a label on the side gives instructions for adding the wet ingredients and baking.
So my Gratitude Jar will be started with gratitude for the friends in my life, the friends who think enough of me to give me a gift, the friends who surround me with love, the friends who support me in good times and challenging times.
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.”
― Alphonse Karr
“To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us - and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.” ― Thomas Merton