DIFOP-Christmas Jars:An Idea for All Year Long

As I took ornaments down from the tree on New Year’s Day back in January, my toddler wandered in the room.

“Mommy, what you doing?”
I reached on tip toes, answering, “I’m taking the ornaments off. It’s time to put away our Christmas tree.”
I’m not sure what my 3 year old heard exactly, but the next thing I knew she was WAILING, and blocking the tree with her BODY, screaming “Noooo!!! I want Christmas!”
Well. That was unexpected.
I felt like the murderer of Christmas as I pried ornaments from her chubby fingers.
But Christmas doesn’t have to end. (Even if you were ready for it to). Have you ever heard the book Christmas Jars?
Our family loves the idea behind this book: Collect spare coins and loose change in a jar all year long and on the week of Christmas deliver the jar to someone’s front door! Keep it a secret and quietly celebrate making a difference with your family!
I found a clearance jar at Target and we’ve already started!
I think this would be a great Do It For Others Project (DIFOP)! So, grab a jar, put it in a high traffic area in your house and designate loose change and spare dollar bills to it. We have one rule with our jar: ONCE MONEY GOES IN-IT CAN’T COME OUT (in other words, we can’t use it when we hear the ice cream truck!)
In December, we’ll share the who/how/why of our Christmas Jars!
Are you in? (that means Yo, leave a comment if you are)!
*Updated* I’ll be randomly choosing a commenter to win a copy of the book Christmas Jars! Congrats to the random book winner, Kristin of this Sweet Country Life!


  1. 1


    We did this for Christmas 2009. But we gave our jar to a family in the church. Didn't know where they lived so just handed it to them. It was great to see their faces…Great surprise and a few hidden tears. Love the book!

  2. 6


    I read the book 4 years ago and we've been doing this every year since then. Two years ago we started adding a letter explaining our purpose and feelings for doing this and last year I gave the book with the jar also. It's been a great experience for our family and the kids look around the house for change to put into the jar.

  3. 10


    Yo, I'm in! :)

    I think this is a great idea! I've never heard of it, but count me in! I would love for my children to be involved in something like this!

    ~ melscoffeebreak.blogspot.com~

  4. 13


    I like that idea to share with my Graddaughters.
    Amazon would not let me look in the book to get a better idea of what it's about.
    Thanks for sharing this.

  5. 16


    Great way to teach (and practice!) selflessness. Let's see: save for Hawaii? Or give to others?

    Hmmmm….I'm thinking hard about this!

  6. 17


    Yes! Last Christmas, I was having a horrible day. I was close to tears and ready to bag the whole Christmas idea. We heard a knock on the door. Since it was after dark, I called out to my husband to answer. We were the recipient of a Christmas jar! It was a small jar, no pennies and there was almost $90 in it! It was such a blessing, it came at the right time! It changed my mood, my perspective and my kids were just tickled! Money is tight for us, still, but we have a Christmas jar started too!

  7. 20


    We started this idea last summer but now designate a different charity each month! Last month was Soles for Souls, and this month is for our local Veterans Hospital. I have the children make a homemade sign each month and tape it to the jar. We leave it near the front door and LOTS of people who come to visit just feel led to empty their pockets!

  8. 21


    I have never heard of this book. What a neat idea! We are always looking for neat ways to share with people around Christmas time and this would be awesome!

  9. 23


    I love this, too. We did our first jar last year and used the money to buy gifts for someone. :) It is amazing how nickles and dimes really add up!!

  10. 25


    How neat. We already keep extra change in a jar…so what a great way to use the change in it! Love it! I have never heard of this or the book! We are in!

  11. 26


    I have never heard of this but I am going to start one. I like to give something at Christmas to a family and this will help me as this year I am out of work, but the change will add up.

  12. 27


    My mother and my husband prohibit me from giving money to other people. NOT because they believe it's wrong (heck no!) but we fall under the category of "Makes under $10,000 a year before taxes"
    I have to BEG my husband to let me send a check to UNICEF every November. He'd never go for the Christmas Jar thing.

  13. 28


    Just wanted say hello and to let you know that I linked to you in my blog here:
    I'm really blessed by you and your blog, especially your love for Compassion. God willing, I'm taking an Advocate tour to Haiti next spring and your stories from Kenya have me that much more excited. Thanks!

    Bye the bye, thanks for the great idea. I always have trouble with the money-in-a-jar idea because I have no will power and said money is far to easily accessible. I've even tried freezing it in a coffee can (credit card style). Picture a rabid looking girl with a hair dryer and hot water running…it is sad really :o) But God is patient with me!

    Have a wonderful Easter!

  14. 29


    What a great idea! I love the little jar you found too. This is a fun way to remember others while thinking of the reason we celebrate Christmas.

  15. 32

    ~*Trisha*~ says

    I love this idea! I have never heard of this book before, but I am for sure going to start a jar with my family now :) Thanks for the inspiration!!

  16. 33


    I'm not familiar with the Christmas jar. I need to check that out. It is so encouraging to see what Africa is doing in your life.

  17. 34


    What a great idea! I keep a jar just for change but have never thought of giving it away. Might just have to do that this year. Thanks for sharing.

  18. 38


    I had heard of this idea before (perhaps from you?) and have started doing it. I try to keep the talk of Christmas down around our house this time of year, but the kids (and husband) know that all spare change is going in a jar for a family that needs it come winter. Selfishly, I love having a place for spare change and it's also quite nice to know it's going somewhere needed!

  19. 42


    Our family has been doing that for about four years now and we love it. Every year I start to wonder who we will give the jar to, and then someone is miraculously revealed to us. It's a great lesson to the kiddos about how little changes adds up to big money. We usually convert ours to notes to make it easier on the person who receives it and give them a copy of the book also.

  20. 44


    A wonderful idea. We have used the "change in a jar" tactic to save up for items we really need…and sometimes for items we simply want and we just don't have the money for. Having a Christmas Jar seems like a wonderful idea, and I'd love the opportunity to win the book for my whole family to read. Many thanks!


  21. 46


    This is a GREAT idea! Our silver change usually goes into the kid's college fund, but I love this idea. I'll be splitting all of our silver change between the kid's college and a Christmas Jar.

  22. 48


    Last Thursday I prayed all day for an idea for an upcoming hands-on service project called Kidz RAP (Reaching All People)that meets each month. I just happened to check your blog that same day and found this fabulous idea. It is now our April project for over 100 participants. However, we expanded it just a bit. We are doing "Jars of Joy" for NOW, SOON & LATER. NOW is all the ingredients to make brownies that the family can deliver to someone in need NOW. SOON is a jar full of service ideas the family can select each week to do over the summer. LATER is the collection of money for the Christmas jar. Thanks to you 300 jars are being made and delivered and kidz are learning the importance of serving with their family at the same time. Just wanted you to know how your idea grew and the impact you are having! So grateful,Karman

  23. 49

    Rachel Floyd says

    I’m in! I’ve already got the perfect Jar. Now I’m gonna get the kids involved. Love this!

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