New Year Memory Jar

DIY, How-Tos

A new year memory jar is a wonderful way to remember favorite family memories made throughout the year. With the new year upon us, now is the perfect time to make one. 

New year memory jar next to a stack of index cards with a pen on top and a pitcher of roses next to them.

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New Year, New Memories

With each new year comes new years resolutions, new goal setting, and new memories to be made. Everyone looks forward to a fresh new start and a great year ahead. 

The beauty of a new year is that each one comes with new memories to be cherished. Thinking back to the past year, I am certain most of us can remember some fond memories that were made. New births in the family, graduations, and weddings are always special memories. Other wonderful memories include seeing family members that haven’t been seen in a long time or taking that long-awaited tropical vacation. Maybe a favorite memory was the service project helping others or the new puppy that joined the family. Whether the memory is big or small, throughout each year, there are plenty that shouldn’t be forgotten. 

New Year Memory Jar 

My favorite way to preserve the family memories made each year is with a new year memory jar. Our family memory jar has its home on the kitchen counter. Throughout the year family and friends take an index card, write down the date, and the wonderful memory (or memories) they experienced with us on the farm. The memories are typically ones people don’t want to forget. They can also be from a trip, a celebration, or just something special that happened on a particular day.

Placing a memory written on a card in the memory jar.

At the end of each year, I take out all the memories that were written down and placed in the jar throughout the past year. Next, I put them in chronological order. Then, on New Year’s Day, when the family gathers together to celebrate, we read through all the memories on the cards out loud. Hearing what everyone remembers throughout the year is so much fun! It also sparks great family conversation reminiscing about “old times.” 

Items Needed to Make a New Year Memory Jar

A clear glass jar and ribbon on a riser to make a new year memory jar.

A jar

Creating a new year memory jar for the family is easy. You can get as creative as you want. All you need is a jar, preferably with a lid. Here are a few of my favorites:


Decorating a family memory jar is lots of fun. It should represent your family and your home. It can be decorated with stickers (there is always a great selection of stickers for memory jars in the scrapbooking section of most craft stores) or paint pens. Decoupage is another fun option for decorating the jar or it can just be left plain. I hot glued a scrap piece of ribbon around our family memory jar to decorate it.

Hot gluing ribbon onto a new year memory jar.

Then, I made a baking soda dough medallion, stamped the year on it, and tied it onto the ribbon around the jar. Each new year I can make a medallion and switch it out for the old one.

Baking soda dough rolled out with a medallion stamped 2022 and a cookie cutter and rolling pin next to the dough.

Index cards and a pen

Be sure to set out a stack of small index cards and a pen by the new year memory jar. These make it easy for people to write down their memories any time they feel like it. 

Memories Last a Lifetime

With the new year memory jar made, it’s time to find a special place to set it out in your home. Make the jar easily seen and accessible. As the year goes by, it’s always fun to see family and friends stop and write something down on a card and place it in the jar.

Once it’s time to read the memories, it’s fun to see how excited the family gets. Oftentimes, putting the memories in chronological order before reading them out loud helps to spark more memories of that specific time from other members of the family.  It’s amazing how the conversation about memories from the past year can take on a life of its own thanks to these little cards! Typically, laughter is abundant.

What to do With the New Year Memory Jar Cards After Each Year

After the memories are made, written down, and read each year, bundle them up with a ribbon and tag each bundle with the year. I tie on the baking soda dough medallion from that year. Then, place each bundle in a special box for storage. As the years go by, it’s always fun to go through the box and look back on the memories.

I hope you enjoy this idea for a new year memory jar as much as I do. As it has become a wonderful tradition in our home, maybe it will become a tradition in your home too.

I wish you all the best in the new year. May 2022 be filled with lots of love, happiness, good health, and wonderful memories (to put in your family memory jar)!

Pinterest Pin for a new year memory jar.


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