“Choose to be happy.”

That is something we say all the time in our house.  To some degree, we believe that happiness is a choice. Yes, there are good days and bad days.  But you can choose to focus on the positives or the negatives in your life.  That is a choice, and your children learn from watching how you handle the bumps in the road.

When our two oldest girls were little, one time the baby started crying in the car.  She was getting louder and louder, and finally her older sister couldn’t take it anymore:  she started shouting at the top of her lungs, “Choose to be happy… CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY!!!”  Needless to say, the baby only cried harder, but we loved that our three-year-old had obviously heard us as we had already been encouraging her again and again to make a choice about her happiness.  You can never start instilling that too young!  :)

Sometimes life stinks.  There are some really crappy days, and unfortunately, there are some really crappy years, too.  When New Year’s Eve rolls around, it can occasionally be a relief to close the door on a year and feel like you are getting a new start the next morning.  But even during the hardest years, there are most certainly still some great moments along the way.  Times of laughter and pure joy.  These are the moments we need to remember.  We need to choose to be happy.

This year for the first time, our family is going to have “A Little Jar of Happiness.”  I first saw this idea on Pinterest here where they discussed focusing on your gratitude for 30 days, but I’m expanding on that. We are going to start a new tradition where we focus on the positives in our life all year long.

Our family already does “favorites” most nights when we have dinner together.  Each daughter loves to take her turn telling everyone about the favorite part of her day, and then she picks the next person who will share.  So this year, we’ll write down some very special favorites and date them, and then into our “little jar of happiness” they’ll go!  On New Year’s Eve next year, we can pull them out one by one and reflect on all the good things that happened to our family in 2013.  What a great way to close the book on another year!

This year, we are going to choose to be happy.  I hope you are, too!

A year from now, our jar will look like this…



How fun it will be for us to pull the slips out of the jar on New Year’s Eve in 2013!  We will get a chance to relive some special moments and smile about all the good times we experienced together.

(My girls helped me with this post, and they loved getting to write some pretend slips for the sake of this picture.  The year ahead will be our first full year with daughter number four–we all can’t wait to see what milestones she reaches in 2013!)



To create my jar, I simply printed a label and attached it with some ribbon to make it look extra cute.



Our family can’t wait to start filling our little jar of happiness!  Our youngest daughter finally (!) started to cut her first tooth today, so her older sisters are already planning to enter “Lila got her first tooth!” as our first great moment in 2013.  Sounds like a good way to start the year to me, too.  :)

Enjoy all the moments, big and small!


I hope 2013 brings you much joy!  Happy New Year, my friends!!

Do you have any special New Year’s traditions?  I’d love to hear about them!

HH Signature Thanks