Do your Christmas shopping now with the ‘blessings bottle’: My own Post 251

This article was written by Chris Beguhe in his 9/15/11 column. The title of the column this week is “Do your Christmas shopping now with the blessings bottle”. But his actual weekly column goes by the name ‘A better view’. Does that make sense? I hope so. I am going to try doing what Chris suggests—and keep you apprised of how it is going. That way I have to stick to it! The photo of my blessing bottle (which I have tagged blessing jar) is at the bottom of this post. This week, as I said, I am Counting My Blessings a la Rosemary Clooney.

Here is Chris Benguhe’s article.


Do your Christmas shopping now with the ‘blessings bottle’
Remember, it’s not about whether the glass is half full or half empty — it’s about the value of the glass. The glass of your life is always valuable, because we can fill it up with opportunities to love and be loved.
As we continue to face tough times in our nation and our world, let’s help each other to remember all the blessings that God sends us every day through others who touch us with their selfless love.
I know you have heard all that before. But it’s easy to forget those kind pick-me-ups, such as the way someone smiled at the grocery store or how a family member went the extra mile to let us know how loved we are.
It’s important to remind ourselves of how special every single person we meet is and how much they make a difference. Remember, too, that we have the opportunity to give all that love back.
But how exactly do we remind ourselves of all that long after we are done reading this column or when the Sunday church bells have long faded into the chaos and the catastrophes of the week?
That’s where the blessings bottle project comes in. First, go rummage around your house for an old vase or jar that you have always liked but that doesn’t get enough use. Or take a trip to your local St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store. You will find all kinds of forgotten yet beautiful bottles sitting up on top of the shelves; usually it will only set you back a buck or two.
Each week between now and Christmas, you and your family will write down one blessing you have to be grateful for on a piece of paper and put it in the jar.
Think of blessings that go beyond having the fanciest car on the block, or being the best-dressed person at work. You should probably shy away from anything having to do with hitting the lotto, too.
Try to focus on things like how people came to help you last week when you were sick or remembering the people who celebrated with you on your birthday. Or maybe the way somebody picked you up the last time you were down.
If you keep up with it, you should have at least a dozen or so in there within the next few months.
Then on Christmas day, after all the other presents are opened, take down the jar and star reading all the wondrous ways that you have been blessed, and it will be the greatest Christmas gift of all.
If you want, then you can empty it out and start all over to get ready for Easter.
Then keep the glass out somewhere for the rest of the year in plain sight where it will be a permanent pick-me-up.
Eventually you will get into the habit of realizing just how much you have to be thankful for. Once you do it will totally transform your head, your heart, and the way you look at life.
In fact, you will become so enthusiastic and grateful about your life that you will probably start being a real pain to all those negative people out there who insist on being angry and ungrateful.
And as the old saying goes, “You should be so lucky!”—-

Chris Benguhe is a columnist for The Catholic Sun. Visit  and


I think when I implement this this week I am going to have each family member write a blessing of their own and then we will do a group blessing as well. I have my blessings jar/blessing bottle  all set up! It is pretty to look at and I hope it will inspire us and even inspire you, too.

Anyway—-I hope that this idea of Chris Benguhe’s is inspiring for you. I do not know him—but his articles often do inspire me. Blessings to you today! May counting your blessings renew your faith and give you courage. Blessing-counting keeps me a perennial optimist.

About Kate Kresse

I love to write, I love to talk, I love to uplift people when I can. I am a woman in love with life. I am a wife, mom, tutor, writer, and I am a perennial optimist. (OK not every single minute but you get the point! :-)
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4 Responses to Do your Christmas shopping now with the ‘blessings bottle’: My own Post 251

  1. Mmm, this was good.
    Thanks so much for it.
    If we had a group as our family, instead of just we two, it would be so wonderful, such a great new tradition, inspiring Advent project, etc. When my five little ones were little, they would have latched on to it in a flash. But they are grown, now, with their own little ones, their own traditions. That is good, too.
    But we two simply share our blessed happenings with each other daily . . .
    It is the noticing that matters, I hope.

    • Kate Kresse says:

      I agree—it is ESPECIALLY suited to a bigger group, especially with young ‘uns. The blessing jar is going to be a refocusing tool for me. These days I am so easily drawn into a grumpy political discussion (not with my hubby and son, but with other people), or one of the other zillions of discussions. Then I am all grumpy and negative and looking at the world in well, unholy ways. If instead my goal is to find the blessings in each moment it should be transformational. I am not generally materialistic, so it isn’t that. Instead I want my heart, my conversations, my reactions, and my outlook to be more rooted in how God wants me to be. It needs to be less ‘reactive” to the common discussions. For my own journey, I need to find the blessings in each moment and the ponies hidden under the manure….hopefully my blessing jar will help me to do that on an ongoing basis (rather than something I vow to do and forget in a few days). Since I seem to be like the lead dog in the movie’Up” [Squirrel!!!} somedays, I put it in writing….If it is in writing and I have told others I plan to do it, then I am committed—with witnesses!!!

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