You can make a holiday journal jar for those hard-to-please or best-loved people on your list. Journal jars appeal to all ages. People appreciate your time and thoughtfulness in creating a gift especially for them. A journal jar is inexpensive and fun to make. It will gift the recipient with many happy hours.

Journal jars contain folded pieces of paper with journal topics your recipient finds of interest. If the person does not keep a journal, these topics may be used for meditation or deep thinking.

Find a Jar

Find a decorative jar that your recipient would bond with or decorate a quart-sized Mason jar with paint or stickers. Think about your recipient’s tastes. For instance, if they love cooking, use stickers with pictures of foods. After you make the gift journal jar, you can tie a pretty ribbon around its neck.

It’s easy to personalize the jar by writing “So-and-So’s Journal Jar” on a decorative stick-on label. If you know calligraphy, all the better, you can make the jar look fancy.

Journal Jar Theme

Here comes the fun! There are dozens of themes to choose from when creating your holiday journal jar. Here are a few suggestions: Quotes from various famous people, from one person, such as Mother Teresa or Bible study verses. Recipes and cooking hints are another.

Think about the person you are gifting – for instance if they are into genealogy, you could fill the jar with questions about their ancestors or tips about interesting web sites. “Firsts” make a wonderful theme – “Write about your first date.” Or, first kiss, first child and so on.

The holiday journal jar makes a nice “together” gift for a couple. Or, you and a close friend can create journal jars and exchange them.

The idea is to encourage the person to ponder on the prompt and journal their thoughts.

Journal Prompts

This is the “make” part of your gift. Are you going to handwrite or type prompts? If you’re writing the journal jar prompts, you’ll need precut blank paper. Some people roll the prompts and tie a ribbon around them, like a scroll. Or, you can just fold them.

You can either write questions, quotes or interesting facts related to the theme you have chosen. For instance, a sample question for a book lover journal jar: “What do you most admire about your favorite author?”

Finishing Tips

Remember to allow several weeks to work on this project. It does take time to write the prompts. The two-quart sized jar will hold a sizeable number of prompts, about 150-200.

If you want to pretty-up the journal prompts, write them on colored paper and cut them with pinking shears.

If you get stuck for questions or quotes, look on the Internet.

Consider using cardstock instead of plain paper, especially if you’re going to roll and tie them with ribbon in scroll fashion.


Depending upon how close you are to the person you’re gifting the holiday journal jar, you may want to box it with other items. Suggestions: a blank journal, a box of colored pens or pencils, a small Bible for referencing bible study prompts, a book of quotes, and/or colored paper for making their own prompts.

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