New Year’s Family Ritual


New Year’s Eve was delightful. After a Chinese buffet dinner out last night, we enjoyed a lovely NYE celebration with friends. We met new people and enjoyed ourselves immensely. My sweet Asher passed out on the host child’s bed at around 10 p.m., in the midst of a room full of playing, shouting children. Amazing! (There’s something extremely sensible about this boy.)

Today, we cleaned our home and have started the slow process of moving Christmas out of the house. We’ll take our time with that. We’re still enjoying having our tree up, shining cheerfully in our living room. We are still enjoying our Twelve Days of Christmas!

New Year's Day family ritual upload

This evening we had a small, simple family ritual to ring in the New Year, and this is the real topic of this post. We made a wishing jar! We cut little pieces of paper and then wrote our wishes and hopes for the new year on them. We included personal goals and things we want for our whole family. We wished for good health, peace, safety, and tranquil minds. We hope for new opportunities and prosperity. We hope for more family vacations and fun with friends. Lucas is hoping to do well in the pentathlon that will be held later this spring. Ian’s planning on running a half-marathon and two-Two-TWO Tough Mudder events this year. Asher might learn to ride a bike without training wheels. Both of our boys will be getting new teachers at the end of this school year, so we’re wishing for good, creative, clever, wonderful new teachers for the fall. I hope for more book-writing and more oil painting. For some of our loved ones, we wished for a wedding; for peace for the living who have recently lost family; and for an acceptable end to a long-held dispute. In short, we want good living, good learning, and plenty of love!


We spoke about what we were writing on our papers, and discussed how we might achieve some of these goals. We feel that thinking about our goals and saying them aloud or writing them out gives us a better chance of achieving them. This is a way of making our dreams manifest; our ritual actions help to make our desires a reality. We can support each other.

We rolled our strips of paper containing our wishes around our pens and pencils to coil them. Then we placed them in our mason jar.


We could have stopped here, sealed up our jar, and been finished. But we wanted to finish the project in a beautiful way. We took turns pouring colored sand into our jar fill of paper wishes. We gently shook our jar side-to-side to get each colored layer to settle down. Asher and Lucas both got to pour in their favorite colors.


And here is our result: our completed 2013 wishing jar. I wish these photos were prettier, but it was evening and I think you can sill get the idea. We now have a rainbow jar full of our hopes and dreams for 2013. The sand layers obscure them and make them private, passers-by in our home cannot read them, which was a concern for our 10-year-old, who now has his own private life and thoughts. We wrote 2013 on the top of the jar. It will stand in our kitchen, or perhaps on a shelf in our home, where it can gently remind us of our goals for our family.

Making this wishing jar felt good. I’m full of optimism and hope for this year!

4 Responses to “New Year’s Family Ritual”

  • Gina @connectingfamilyandseoul
    January 11, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    What a wonderful ritual for the new year. I love that you talked about how you were going to achieve your wishes as a family, too. Thanks for sharing on the All Year Round Blog Carnival!


    • Sara
      January 15, 2013 at 10:12 pm

      Thank you, Gina, for stopping by. I hope our ritual might inspire others. It was certainly fun to do!


  • Kira Stewart-Watkins
    December 30, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    What a gorgeous ritual! I love this idea. We make a gratitude jar and throughout the year we fill it with little slips of paper on which we write what good things happened to us. We read them on the days leading up to the new years. I love the reminders of the good that has come from the year.


    • Sara
      January 1, 2014 at 11:19 am

      Thanks, Kira. Reminders of all the good stuff is a big reason I blog. The jar is a better way to involve the whole family. We have a “Memory Monkey”—a monkey cookie jar that we put mementos in too. Happy New Year to you and your loves!


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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2018 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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