February 13th was my Grandfather's birthday. Grandfather had a ceramic jar that my Grandmother had made and it sat on top of his dresser. Throughout the year he would collect loose change and fill the jar. As his birthday got closer, he would lace his collection with larger coins such as fifty cent pieces and dollar coins. Each year as the family gathered together to celebrate his birthday, as part of tradition, Grandfather would gather his grandchildren together and we would each get a turn at reaching into the jar and pulling out as much money as we could collect in one handful. It got harder as we got older as our hand would be so full of money that it would get stuck in the jar unless we let some change slip out. We were each allowed to collect and keep whatever we could pull out with one hand.
Now that Grandfather has passed away his jar wasn't forgotten. Three years ago Grandmother gifted the jar to Jared in hopes that he would keep the tradition alive. After talking about it, we decided the only date we felt appropriate to pull out the money jar was on February 13th. Our first year of doing this, we shared the family tree with the kids and talked about who their Great Grandparents are and where their Great Grandfather Bartley fell on their family tree. Then we proceeded to share the money jar tradition with them.
This year was our second year. It was a busy day as we rushed through
dinner and pulled out the money jar just before cub scouts, hence the
scout shirts. But RJ and Savannah had remembered the jar from the
previous year and their eye's lit up. Who wouldn't when you were about
to get a handful of change. I am so excited that I can share a special
memory and tradition from my childhood with my kids.
We have a lot of pennies and nickels in our jar, but I did go to the bank and got $10 in quarters to help generate some excitement. This year Savannah collected the most with $3.64, RJ got $3.35, and Zachery held onto $2.04.
I remember as a child getting above $10. We are going to have to start lacing our jar with bigger coins as well if we want to each higher numbers. But for now the kids don't mind.