Christmas Gift Jar

by Mindy Lockard on November 15, 2009


The lists have started, our Christmas card is in the works, and I ‘m on the hunt for a sweet spicy nut recipe…  I can’t wait to start celebrating Christmas.  Since I’m very firm on my personal policy not to actually celebrate until after Thanksgiving, I’m simply planning ahead so when the time comes I’m ready and with Christmas bells on!

Part of this plan includes the gift exchange between Elle and Maggie.  As their mother I take my job in helping them foster a happy and healthy relationship very seriously. As an etiquette consultant I believe that the home is the practice ground for friendships outside of the home!

This year, rather than buying gifts for the girls to exchange, they are going to earn and shop for the other’s gift.

Tonight we made our Christmas Gift Saving Jars.

Since I’m making an effort to live graciously green we used gourmet salsa jars…sans salsa of course. These little jars are the perfect size and provide the perfect Football Sunday treat!


Next we printed out these labels on regular paper.  Elle and Maggie each decorated their label, we cut them out, and taped them to the jars.


Finally, I sat down with each of the girls and went over what they wanted to do to earn money.



  • Make Bed
  • Get Dressed Without Being Asked Twice
  • Homework Without Complaining
  • Help with Dinner Dishes
  • Daily Keep Treasures in her Treasure Box



  • Make Bed
  • Help with Breakfast Dishes
  • Get Ready Without Being Asked Twice
  • Daily Keep Treasures in her Treasure Box
  • Have a Timeout Free Day

Next we hung up the charts next to the jars in their room!


Although I appreciate her spirit and excitement about the project, I did have to explain to Maggie why we might need to tailor back from  a  gas powered car with batteries for her sister — I do love a girl that’s  not afraid to dream big!

What are other ways to get children excited for the gift process… I love your thoughts!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Beth 11.16.09 at 9:13 am

What a great idea! Mine are a bit young yet (my youngest turns 1 tomorrow), but I’m filing this away for a couple of years from now.

Christy 11.16.09 at 2:13 pm

I have a question? What if one child earns a lot more money than another? How would adjust things to make them fair?

Mindy Lockard 11.17.09 at 5:17 am

Christy, you bring up a great point. Honestly, it hasn’t been an issue for us as the girls are over the moon about the project. We make a really big deal at the end of each night with a little coin giving ceremony where they bring in the jars and Ty awards them based on their chores (we do it every night for the first week to get them excited and then once a week after that). Also, Elle and Maggie don’t understand the value of money yet and I have a range that I expect them to make for their gift… the amount will not afford them a big ticket item just the opportunity to buy a smaller gift (example: book, small toy, game etc.)

If there is a situation where one child earns more I think there are several ways to handle it depending on the age of the child. If the children are old enough to understand the value of money I would give the one who made the most the option of spending the amount the other child made and saving the rest. However, I also think there is a fun lesson in giving beyond what will be given in return (with a gracious heart of course).

Great conversation question! Please let me know what you think or if there are any other scenarios that might come into play!

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