Glenn Beck: Christmas Jars

Christmas Jars Reunion

GLENN: The Christmas Jar, came out about five years ago. And I didn’t even know Jason at the time. I don’t even know, I think I was in a bookstore or somebody sent it to me and I read it, and it was fantastic, just fantastic. I just loved it. It’s one of those books that you sit down and you read it cover to cover in one sitting, you know, and your wife is usually going, "Will you get up? We’ve got stuff to do." Like yeah, yeah, yeah, just hang on just a second. And you finish reading it. And that’s where the tradition in my family came from. The Christmas Jars. Jason and I have become friends, and he’s here now. Hi, Jason, how are you?

WRIGHT: Thanks for having me. We’ve done this over the phone so many times, to be here in studio is so cool because I totally expected like padded walls.

GLENN: What is that, like an asylum? Is that how he starts? Wow.

PAT: Did you expect us to be in straitjackets?

WRIGHT: Well, I read the blogosphere. I expected horns and all kinds of stuff.

PAT: Really? Wow.

GLENN: Is this the first time you’ve been in studio with us?

WRIGHT: In the studio. We’ve done it over the phone five or six times but never in the studio.

GLENN: Really?

WRIGHT: So yeah. You guys all look so normal here.

GLENN: I’m kind of offended. Are you offended?

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: So we’ve talked to Jason over the years. I think you called me the first year because didn’t somebody call you and say, oh, my gosh, Glenn Beck is talking about your book.

WRIGHT: Yeah, my cousin in Utah called and said, you need to track down Glenn in your market and listen. I was living in Washington D.C. at the time. Unfortunately you were on later in that market at the time, and I picked it up and I listened to you and I said, holy crap, I can’t believe that just happened. And I called you the next morning and we got on the air and the rest is history.

GLENN: Well, The Christmas Jars Reunion picks up where The Christmas Jars left off. And you can probably, I’m sure you can buy both of them at the same time. And they really are a one sitting book. They are, what, 200 pages? And you can read it, and it’s, you just, it’s one of those books that you just, it feels good. I’ve stopped   no, I can’t say that. I have found myself to where I want to stop reading books that are making me feel bad inside. I need more light and goodness inside me because I’m reading so many books that are just depressing that I just, I go to bed now and I’m like, I have   my nightstands are full of books that I’m reading, halfway through or I have to read. And every night I take one off the top that will make me feel good. I’ll read others, I’ll usually read about three books before I fall asleep. And the last one will always be something like The Christmas Jars reunion that will make me feel good. So can you pick up this book and just read it from here and understand it?

WRIGHT: Absolutely. I think it helps if you’ve read Christmas Jars first as is the case with most sequels. But you don’t have to. You could pick up Christmas Jars Reunion today and you would get the ending.

PAT: You get that?

GLENN: Real quick, bring you up to speed on  you know, bring the audience up to speed on what The Christmas Jars story was and then tell us a little bit about The Christmas Jars Reunion.

WRIGHT: Absolutely. The Christmas Jars Story is very simply based on this very simple tradition of taking an empty, Mason jar or pickle jar or peanut butter jar, it doesn’t matter. You wash it out. As you said, you put it on your counter, in your closet, some place in your home where you are going to see it, and you fill it every day with your spare change. You don’t need to write a big check, you don’t need to fill it with bills. Mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, the kids, the pets, it doesn’t matter. Your change goes in the jar. And once it’s in the jar, it doesn’t come back out again. It’s almost sacred once it’s in that jar. And we figure over the years, we’ve sort of run an average just based on the e mail and the phone calls I’ve gotten from people, and the average family can generate between $100 and $150 pretty easily in spare change over the course of the year. And then as Christmas approaches, maybe either around Christmas Eve  that’s what my family does, it sound like that’s what the Becks have done and a lot of other families around the family that have contacted me  but it doesn’t need to be on Christmas Eve. Drop it on somebody’s cubicle when they are not looking at work or put it on the pew next to them when they are not paying attention at church. Whatever works for you. There is no right way or wrong way to give it away. And because my family experimented with this and had such a wonderful experience that first year, I thought, I’ve got to try to find a way to fictionalize this and see if we can inspire one family to do this, to sort of try this experiment. And I thought, if one family can do it and have as good an experience as we had, then it would be completely worth the effort of writing this little book and getting rejected by over 20 agents and publishers and finally finding a home for it. And who could have predicted back then that the book would now be half a million copies sold and a movement launched. And I have to say there are two people most responsible for The Christmas Jars book and now movement across the country.

My editor at Shadow Mountain, Chris Schoebinger who discovered the manuscript in this lost pile where it’s tough to get discovered and a guy named Glenn Beck who you told me originally you found the book because you were going home for the weekend and you looked for the thinnest book on your stack on your desk and you said, I don’t have a lot of time; I’ve got a short attention span, man, so I’ve got to find a thin book. You took it home, you read it, you came in Monday morning, you went crazy about it. And the movement   and this has become bigger than the book. I want your listeners to know that. This isn’t just about a book anymore. This is a true movement of people all across the world now participating in the tradition, and we have you and my great publisher to thank in large part.

GLENN: Well, I will tell you that we have to find a way to teach our children that it is about giving, not receiving. That we have to teach our children, you know, that   you know, and that’s kind of what my Chris pass book is doing with the kids. The kids’ version of the Sweater is. You don’t always get what you receive because there are parents out there, I remember that year when I couldn’t afford anything. And there are parents out there that are struggling so hard. And this is the season where if you have self doubt and you don’t know what’s important in your life and you have struggled financially, you’re struggling financially, this is the time where as a parent you just want to hang yourself because you are   this society has made this season into something that it is not that you feel like a complete and total failure. And we’ve got to change that. And anything we can do to help change that or help these people out that are feeling that way, you know   I bet you everybody in this audience, if you are not feeling it this year, you have felt it in the past. And that’s what The Christmas Jars and the whole idea behind it, that’s what it does. And this is a great   you could sit down with   I gave it to my daughters because they were old enough. This is a great book to be able to share with the whole family. Now, the Reunion picks it up, and the characters, who’s involved in this one?

WRIGHT: It’s essentially the same cast of characters, Hope Jensen, the main character from the first book, Christmas Jars Reunion picks up two years later, and I just have to say the book is really in large part a thank you to the thousands and thousands of people out there that have gotten involved in the tradition, have e mailed me and have said, please tell us what comes next for this character. And I never expected that. I didn’t expect the first book to be published let alone the sequel to ever come along. So Christmas Jars Reunion is a thank you to those folks and it’s an opportunity for me to finish Hope’s story.

GLENN: But Hope actually goes awry in this one.

WRIGHT: She does. She loses sight of the fact that the tradition is ultimately about one jar, and Hope becomes very involved in this big number. She wants to place 1,001 jars in homes. She wants to give away 1,001 jars full of money. She has a tote board, a tally road in the restaurant where this Christmas Jars ministry is sort of taking place. She becomes obsessed by this, almost sort of turned it into this kind of a corporate culture, and she loses sight that it is ultimately about one jar, one birth and one savior. It’s wonderful if a school or a corporation or a church wants to get together and give away a lot of jars collectively. But ultimately what matters most is the one family that’s going to get your jar or Stu’s jar or Pat’s jar. That’s what matters.

GLENN: Right.

WRIGHT: The one family when they open that door and see that jar, that’s what matters most.

GLENN: This is right in the same message that I have been trying to say for the last year or so that "Too big to fail" means nothing. It is the wrong direction. And they are going to continue in Washington and everywhere else to try to make these things, push these problems bigger, bigger, bigger. When the answer is smaller, smaller, smaller. The answer is you, the individual. It doesn’t even matter about the family you’re giving the jar to. It matters about you giving the jar, you understanding that you are so blessed and you can give to somebody else. The Christmas Jars reunion by Jason Wright available in bookstores everywhere this holiday season. This is one of these books that you need to pick up. And you’ll just love it. It will make a great Christmas Gift for somebody. It will make a great Christmas Gift for you, your family. You can read it during the holiday season and start a new Christmas tradition with The Christmas Jars. And now the new book, Christmas Jars Reunion by Jason Wright. Available everywhere. Jason, thank you very much.

WRIGHT: Thank you, sir.