How to Bottle the Christmas Spirit in a Jar

I have often thought about having Christmas Spirit, but the idea of putting Christmas Spirit in a jar never really occurred to me.  Until I read this quote:

“I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.” – Harlan Miller

After I read it, my mind began running ninety to nothing, trying to figure out just how that could be done.  I have always felt that Christmas Spirit shouldn’t be stuffed into a few weeks of the year.  It should be offered every single day. 

Before I could figure out how to put Christmas Spirit in a Jar, I needed to be sure I fully understood what it meant.

Christmas tree with multi-colored lights in a snowy field at night

What is Christmas Spirit?

Christmas is a time of giving. Much of society would think that means giving something that has been wrapped up in a box.  A physical item.  Something one could hold in their hands.

But although a material gift can be part of it, Christmas Spirit is so much more.  It is an attitude of the heart.  One where you are quick to see a need and almost as quick to fulfill it.  Christmas Spirit is emotional – a smile, a kind word, a thoughtful gesture. 

This Christmas Spirit stems from knowing that we have been given one of the greatest gifts ever, through the birth of Christ.  This gift gave us hope.

So to Offer Christmas cheer, you are offering someone hope.  You are extending a helping hand, kindness to anyone and everyone.  Gentleness, goodness and joy are your mantra.  And you learn to live a life of a quiet peace and love that radiates outward to every person you meet.

a man wearing a tangle of Christmas lights

How do you put Christmas Spirit in a Jar?

In reality, you can’t.  True Christmas spirit cannot be contained in a jar.  If you have it, it is like pouring a mixture of vinegar and baking soda in a jar and putting a cap on it.  This mixture becomes volatile, gases build up and eventually it will pop the cap off and pour all over everywhere.

But there are ways around this.  You may not be able to put your Christmas Spirit in a Jar, but you can create a Christmas Spirit in a Jar that contains all the ways in which you want to share it with others.

Supplies for Christmas Spirit in a Jar including ribbon, blue jingle bells, chalkboard hearts, light blue jar

How to Make Christmas Spirit in Jar

When I read the quote by Harlan Miller, I began to envision a jar decorated in accordance with the purpose.  I headed to my craft room and found everything I needed.  They were simple supplies, as I didn’t need anything too fancy. 

I pulled a red canning jar off the shelf.  Then I dug through a basket of ribbon.  From there, I searched for some heart-shaped chalkboard tags I use when giving a gift of a Psalms 91 throw.  It took a bit longer to find the jingle bells, as I had to go digging through some Christmas supplies, but I finally found what I needed.

After a few attempts, this is what I came up with:

dark red Mason jar tied with green ribbon and a black heart that reads 'Christmas Spirit'

It was simple, but would serve the purpose of keeping my Christmas Spirit in a Jar.  The next step was deciding what would go into the jar. So I headed to the computer, and with the help of Annie over at 15 Acre Homestead, she and I came up with 30 different things we could do each day for a month.

I took all of these items and put them on a sheet of paper designed to cut into slips. Each slip would be folded and put in the jar. And then, each day, I will pull one out.  Whatever the slip says will be my focus for the day.

have a merry, simple Christmas ebook banner

The Beauty of having the Jar

Keeping Christmas Spirit in a Jar is all fun during December.  But keeping it there the rest of the year can be a challenge.  The things Annie and I came up with focuses more on the actual Christmas Season.  But once Christmas is over, keeping the Spirit of Christmas can be a little more difficult.

So I decided to keep Christmas Spirit in a Jar all year long.  Instead of slips that include ‘baking Christmas Cookies’, I will change the slips out that focus only on the season to ones that can be used all year long. Again, Annie and I put our heads and hearts together.

One of the slips is ‘Baking Something for a lonely neighbor’.  It is things like this that will remain in the jar. I will add others in place of the ones removed.  Things such as, ‘Offer one Random Act of Kindness’.

Now, to add 365 slips of paper to a 1 quart red jar might be difficult.  So instead, I will write down at least 12 (one for each month) and up to 52 (one for each week).  Then whichever slip I pull out, that is what I will focus on doing for that month (or week).

young boy in a striped tee shirt sharing ice cream with a Golden Retriever

The Benefit of keeping Christmas Spirit in a Jar

Sometimes we get so busy we are more focused on our own agendas than we are on anything else.  But it is rare that a day goes by we don’t come in contact with others.

I work from home.  My life centers around my home, my farm, my husband and my work.  In all honesty, there are stretches of time I never go further than the mailbox. I have too much to do here.

But I still speak with others on the phone.  Neighbors drop by.  The UPS guy delivers a package.  And I have a craft room and kitchen filled with things I can do for others.  So, using that excuse to not keep the Christmas Spirit within me on a daily basis just won’t wash.

But busyness isn’t a good excuse either. So I will be keeping my Christmas Spirit in a Jar in a prominent place.  Each Sunday morning, I will pull a slip out of it.  And whatever that piece of paper says is what I will work on that week.

If it is baking something for a neighbor, then I will get in the kitchen.  If it is working on future Christmas gifts for a family in need, I will grab my crochet hook, knitting needles or sewing machine and get started. And if it is just offering a kind word, then I can pick up the phone and call, or send a card.

a jar tied with yellow and peach ribbon, silver jingle bell and tag that reads 'Christmas Spirit'

Start your Own Christmas Spirit in a Jar

This is where your creativity can really fly.  All you need is a jar with a lid.  I happened to have colored jars in my craft room.  There were originally purchased for another project, and they were on the clearance aisle.  That project never got off the ground, so I just set them aside to use for something else.

Your Christmas Spirit in a Jar can be anything.  Repurpose a condiment jar.  Use the small tea/coffee container of a canister set.  Or find a decorative jar.  All you need is one where the mouth is large enough to put slips of paper in and get them back out easily.  Any size jar can be used – even a gallon pickle jar!

From there, choose the way you decorate it.  Add a chalkboard adhesive label.  Paint it.  Or just tie ribbons and a tag around the neck like I did.

For my lid, I am using a plastic white one designed for canning jars.  If you use a condiment jar, keep the lid and paint it or cover it with fabric (Just make sure the lid still fits securely).

Then decorate your jar with ribbons, jingle bells, sea shells, charms or anything else you prefer.  Just be sure to add some type of tag that reflects it is your Christmas Spirit in a Jar.

Light blue, red, and green Mason Jar; print out of slips to put in the jars

The ‘Spirit’ in the Christmas Spirit in a Jar

The next part is easy – but can also be difficult.  You will need anywhere from 12 to 52 slips of paper, depending on if you want to work on a ‘gift’ once a week or once a month. 

Write each activity on a slip of paper.  Fold it and place it in the jar.  Once you have them all, then put the lid back on and place your jar somewhere you will see it every day and be reminded to open it up and remove a slip.

That’s it!

print out of paper slips to cut to place in a Christmas Spirit in a Jar

Wait!  Julie – You Gave Us this Idea.  Now You Need to Help!

No worries.  I have your back!  I am more than willing to help you fill your Christmas Spirit in a Jar.  All you have to do is download one or both of the sheets below!

The first one is all about the month of December, and ways you can show your Christmas Spirit during the holiday season.

But the second one is for the rest of the year.  Just so you know – one or both can be modified to fit your circumstances.  The December sheet says to ‘Build a Snowman’.  If you are like me, we don’t get a lot of snow, so building a snowman is probably not an option for me.

But I can adjust somewhat and ‘build’ a snowman in my craft room.  Or, I can ‘build’ one as a wall hanging for children, with felt pieces of a snowman, and let them build one over and over again.

If it is something that is not conducive to your lifestyle, simply think of something else and substitute your idea for mine.

The whole object of having Christmas Spirit in a Jar is to offer hope, joy, peace, patience, kindness – and especially love – to everyone around you on a daily basis. How you do that is entirely up to you!

blocks on a table that read 'Share'

Share your Christmas Spirit in a Jar!

Have you made your jar yet?  Then by all means – share photos of it!!! You can add your photos to the comments – or email it to me at and I will slip back in this post and add it. 

I would love to see your jars and know that there is going to be a lot more Christmas Spirit!!!  (And if anyone asks you ‘what is up with you???, just send them to me – or tell them about the Christmas Spirit in a Jar. Maybe we can make it spread faster and further than any of us could ever imagine!)

Oh!  And one last thing.  If you really want to make Christmas Spirit spread all through the year, consider making Christmas Spirit in a Jar stocking stuffers and gifts.  It’s a perfect, easy gift to make, and it would be a fun gift for anyone to receive!  (I have already pulled supplies to make about 12 more – and I can’t wait to do it!!!)

Here’s Your Freebies!

Christmas Spirit in a Jar – Holiday

Christmas Spirit in a Jar – All Year

Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.


  1. Thank you for sharing this I’m going to do the all year spirit in a jar!!

  2. Appreciate this idea SO much! One year I did a similar thing by filling jars /containers with things the grandchildren loved about each of the individual grandparents. My husband’s parents and my own loved, loved, loved those “Love Jars”. This Christmas Spirit Jar idea is a perfect spin off of those. Thank you!!!

    1. Hi, Rebecca! I’m so glad you enjoyed this. And I love your take on it by filling a jar with ‘Love’. What a wonderful gift to give and receive!

  3. Love the idea. I will be sure to make one as a gift for the holiday and the full year for me to use.

    1. Kathy – I am so glad you enjoyed the Christmas Spirit in a Jar idea! They do make a good gift, and we enjoy ours all year long!

  4. Hi Julie, Christmas Spirit in a Jar, all year, what a wonderful idea!! You and Annie came up with some fun and helpful ways to bring happiness, joy and love to others.

    1. Thank you, Lea! One of my goals for 2021 is to keep it moving all year long. I strongly believe the world needs more of it right now!!!

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