Friday, December 30, 2016


    As the old year ends and the New Year approaches, it's fun to recall all your wonderful memories!  Some people capture them with photos.  Other families capture them in scrapbooks.  But, there is another fun way to save those memories!  Celebrate the New Year and preserve a record of your particular time in history by making a time capsule.  You, your family and friends, can make this part of your New Year's Eve celebration.

   The History of the Time Capsule

   Oral histories and paintings are ways that we preserve some visual record of our pasts.  However, the art of making time capsules dates back to ancient times.  Consider the Pyramids, the Terra Cotta Warriors of China, and the temples of ancient Babylon.  These ancient wonders were intentional preservation's which show the world the wonders of these ancient civilizations.
   In our more modern times, time capsules, serve as messages to future generations about our governments, technology, and humanity.  For the 1939 World's Fair, Westinghouse Electric wanted to create a time capsule that would preserve its contents for 5,000 years.  In that time capsule, Westinghouse placed a deck of cards, alarm clock and toothbrush.  Nearly thirty years later, in the 1964 World's Fair, another time capsule was buried, and it contained contact lenses, a ball point pen and a plastic heart valve.  Today, civic groups, religious communities and scientists used time capsules.  It's not uncommon to place time capsules signifying important events or the construction of buildings.

Making Your Time Capsule 

   For your time capsule, you will need something that is sturdy, and non-biodegradable.  Plastic, metal or even heavy duty rubbers will serve you purposes.  You can find these items around your home, at your local thrift or office supply store.  If you want something large, think metal safes with combinations locks or even this plastic jars with metal lids.  An old metal coffee can works for most.  If you want something small, thin craft eggs used for Easter or Plastic pencil cases.

Time Capsule Items

   Once you pick your capsule, its time to decide what you want to put in it.  You may want to remember specific events in history.  For these things, put newspaper or Internet articles sealed in plastic baggies.  For more personal events, like births and weddings, put a memento from the event.  A knitted bootie or garter will serve nicely.  For memorable parties or milestone events, you can place photographs, movie tickets, programs, toys and even receipt.  You can even let your inner geek free by placing technology in your time capsule.  Think of Cd's, DVDs, and old cell phones.
   Don't put anything in your time capsule that could damage the other items or decay over time.  While you might think Aunt Ruth's fruit cake could survive the nuclear holocaust, it might not be an appropriate item for your time capsule.  Avoid foods, wood, wool or other perishables.

   Also, you, your family and friends can add personal notes about what makes them thankful or what's important to them today and what their hopes are for the future.  Bigger than resolutions, you may want to offer a special prayer for those who may find and open your capsule in the years to come.

Filling and storing your Time Capsule

   Whether it's part of a family activity or a party, set a time to fill and put away your time capsule.  Have everyone add an item.  Once filled, seal your capsule with glue, tape or other method of keeping air out of the container.
   Once sealed, either store your capsule in an out of the way place or bury it.  If you opt for burying your time capsule, make sure you create a map showing where you have buried your time treasures.


Opening the Capsule

   Depending on what time you have set to open your capsule, 1 year, 5 years, 10 years or 20 years, make plans to remember the date.  And, when that time comes, be ready to share and remember all the wonderful ways the world and you have changed.
   So, that old acquaintances, or events for that matter, creating a time capsule is a wonderful way to ring in a new year or decade.  For your next New Year's celebration, consider having fun by preserving a bit of your personal history.

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