One of the oddest things that I love, and I don’t quite understand why, is a jar (preferably with a lid). Yes, I’m inspired by art, nature, and everything else, but a jar to me is like the wardrobe that leads to Narnia; it is so ordinary, but its possibilities are infinite (and unknown).
I will often buy something at the grocery store just because I covet where it lives (we don’t really need the imported peaches, but the upturned sides on the small, round jar is hard to resist when the days are short and I need to grow a daffodil).
Crazy as it sounds, jars trigger my imagination, and I don’t even know why anyone would want to throw them away. Maybe if I ate a lot of jarred things I would feel differently, but for now it is a very manageable obsession, and I am always happy when I scrape out the last bit of whatever is stuck to the bottom of the glass.
To me, they are the perfect starting point to giving someone a present; the packaging is there without any effort, and all I have to do is fill them up with lots of goodies. On a practical note, it is also nice because I can put in smaller things that may get lost in a larger, more decorative bag. Somehow, a jar makes everything seem more important, and it is fun to look through the glass and see if there is anything that we didn’t notice the first time.
Because I don’t eat pickles (which come in really big, useful jars) I often buy new ones (jars, not pickles) at the store. Although they are meant for storing flour and dog treats, it shows that you really do like someone if you are giving them a present that is new, and not an old one that smells like something you ate with yesterday’s lunch.
By the way, when I was looking for a photograph, I Googled ‘things in jars”, which I wouldn’t recommend; my jar-filling ideas are definitely less macabre….
Winter Spa Jar – Lip-balm, Shea butter lotion, a bar of chocolate, and a body scrub.
Get Well Jar – Vitamin C drink sachet’s, fuzzy socks, tissues and a mug.
Happy Birthday Jar – Some of their favorite things, plus a balloon and some candles.
Housewarming Jar – Things from your pantry, layered like colored sand, to wish them good luck in their new home e.g. Flour – so they may never go hungry, Sugar – so life is always sweet etc. Write a label on the outside to explain what they mean.
Firefly Catching Jar – A great last minute gift for a child (or grown-up) on a Summer’s night.
Teenage Girl Jar – Fancy spa things, popcorn, diary, sleep socks and nail polish.
Teenage Boy Jar – Lots and lots of snacks.
New Baby Jar – Cute outfit, chocolate for the parents, and a rattle or soft toy.
Gardener’s Jar – Flower seeds, trowel, gloves, and plant markers.
Just Because Jar – Anything you think someone would like that will fit inside the jar.
p.s. Photograph of Firefly catcher, and instructions on how to make it, are from Southern Living.
For more by Wendy and the Blue Giraffe, go to: http://www.thebluegiraffe.com/