As we started planning for Sam’s first birthday, I was trying to figure out how to make it special without going too crazy. After all, he’s too young to “do” a whole lot and not likely going to remember much of the day. Simple is always better in my mind.
That’s when I came across the idea of doing a time capsule. It seemed like the perfect way to get friends & family involved in celebrating his first birthday, while creating something that Sam can actually enjoy himself years down the road. He might not remember his first birthday, but one day, he’ll get to re-experience it. Not only that, but he’ll get a glimpse into a small chunk of time captured & represented by each item included.
To get the ball rolling, I emailed each person/couple that would be attending his birthday party and outlined the project. I made a list of specific items that we wanted to include in the time capsule and delegated it out to each attendee. They were also invited to contribute anything else that they thought appropriate. Here’s a sample of the email I sent:
We are putting together a time capsule for Sam’s first birthday that he can open when he turns 18. We would love your help in collecting special items to put into it. If possible, could you bring the following item on Saturday to his birthday party?
– (insert item request here)
In addition, feel free to bring anything else that inspires you, makes you think of Sam, this past year, or even something that represents yourself. It would also be great if you wrote a little note (perhaps a memory of him, wishes or fun predictions for his future, or just an explanation of the item you’re including). Nothing complicated. Everything will go into a shoe-box sized container.
Thanks so much for helping us organize this for Sam! I think it will be pretty neat to sit down with him years from now and go through it.
Everyone was eager to participate! If you’re planning to do this project for your own little one, don’t hesitate to ask people for specific items. I think it sometimes helps get the ideas flowing and of course, we ended up with a lot more things than we could ever have thought of on our own!
Here’s a list of the specific items that we asked attendees to bring:
- local newspaper printed on the day of this birthday
- photos of Sam’s friends (our friends’ kids)
- photos of family pets (who are like kids to all of us)
- collection of coins from the most recent years
- collection of the current dollar bills
Here’s a list of the some of items that we added:
- birthday cards given or mailed to him
- photos of hubby & I
- photos of Sam when he at one month old
- a diaper cover (so he can get an idea of how big he was)
- a onesie (again, so he can see how big he was)
- memory stick with his fav music (Taylor Swift & Backyardigans theme)
- a list of his current fav things (eg. yogurt, pork chops, crawling, sorting)
- letters from hubby & I
- a William Gibson book that belonged to my brother (who has passed)
Here’s some of the items that others came up with:
- personal letters
- small bottle of rum (legal drinking age is 18 in Alberta)
- handmade items (quilted bookmark & coffee cozy from his grandma)
- collectible coins
- photos from people’s trips
- signed copies of special books
- a DVD with a collection of videos from his first year
As you can tell, folks came up with some great ideas! Originally, I figured we would just fit everything into a shoebox sized plastic container, but with this amount of items, we had to find something bigger. Liquids will be triple bagged and put into their own plastic container within the big box to prevent any leaking. The whole time capsule itself will probably just be kept in a closet for the next 17 years. It will be quite an interesting thing to go through with Sam.