I'm sure this isn't original but now that I'm a grown adult, and looking back on some of the things my mom kept from my younger years I wish I had more. This got me thinking about time capsules, and creating family time capsules that families can do together.
Time capsules have been made fun of but we are always keeping family memories so why not streamline our memories, and get the whole family involved? I know if my sister and I had made time capsules we would have saved Christmas cassette tapes we made every year with us singing Christmas Carols, and recording our yearly changes in our lives. We did this tradition from when I was in 6th grade until a freshman in college. My sister was 11 years older then I and she had children in those years. It is such a sad thing to report we no longer have those tapes. Tapes with laughter, creativity, swearing due to mess ups, and sheer honesty and love shared between sisters gone. I remember and cherish those times with my sister, and it is sad we no longer have access to those recordings.
Family traditions are important to build bonds between siblings and parents, and it doesn't need to be time consuming. A time capsule is simply a way to keep memories that are important to you. Once a year you can simply take all of the photos, and refrigerator crafts, write the wonderful things your family did the past year and put it in a time capsule. Of course edit some what you put in it, and put in the pictures, crafts and memories that are important. This should be a family decision not just a one parent or both parents; the children should be involved once they are old enough to participate.
Easy Time Capsule Creations:
- Decide how often you want to create a time capsule i.e. yearly, every two years, every 5 years
- When will you open the time capsules?
- Choose containers that will hold the belongings easily, and that are airtight
- Choose a storage spot; will you bury them, will you store them in the attic, backyard, safe, any place that an be secured from prying eyes
- Make simple guidelines of what should be kept and what notes and letters will be included in the capsule
- If you start with your first child begin your time capsule with their birth, and include your feelings about the birth. Once your first born is old enough around age 3-5 years old you can begin asking them what should be included in the time capsule.
- I suggest you don't establish this tradition around the holidays. Holidays are already crazy busy. Maybe on one of those delightful family holidays like Mother's Day or Father's Day to spend time either opening or creating the new capsule as a family.
- My ideal would be every 5 years, start one, open it after 5 years, and create a new one the same time.
- Decide what you would like to keep in the next time capsule, and if there are any carry overs from the previous capsule.
- Don't make this a trudge. This activity should be a delightful full of love, and not really super organized. Make it time for sharing memories together. Eat some snacks, laugh, love, and know you are a family that is creating beautiful memories that are sacred and precious.
I'm not the most sentimental person out there but there are some things I wish I would have kept. The recordings my sister and I made, the fairies I drew and created to play with my friend. My mom kept this Thanksgiving book I made in the second grade and the turkey I drew on the cover had four legs. I still have that booklet and it brings me a smile to look at it to this day; even though I'm now 57.
Don't be afraid. Have fun. Take the time. Enjoy your memories together as a family.