When you hear the term “Family History,” what comes to mind? Journals? Boxes of photos? Sitting in front of a screen reading old documents? These are the kinds of tasks that drive family away from doing family history. What about the here and now? How do we document our present? Use your family reunion to do just that. I’m not talking about journaling or scrapbooking, I’m talking about something much more hands on, something your kids will go ga-ga over.
Building a time capsule! Here are a few things you can include.
A family photo
No time capsule is complete without a family photo. Since the invention of digital cameras, physica photos may seem a remnant of the past. The effort it takes to print a photo will be well worth it when you look back at the image and smile at the fun you had and laugh at your changed appearance.
Ask each child to write a note to his or her future self. Ask questions such as: What would you want your future self to know? What are your major concerns now? What makes you happy now? What do you like to do in your spare time now? Etc. This may be the most exciting part of the process, so give your kids time to put a note together. It will pay off when the time comes to open the capsule.
A receipt from a favorite restaurant
While you may think you paid a lot the last time you took your family out to eat, you probably won’t feel that way in 10-20 years. It will be memorable and interesting to look back and remember where you ate and how much each dish cost. You’ll be able to see how your tastes (and the prices) have changed!
While any newspaper will be interesting to see, one with significant imagery or articles will prove a good relic to pour over in the future.
A valuable (and memorable) family relic
Choose a memorable object, something your entire family will recognize and think about (i.e. a watch or other piece of jewelry, glasses, a book, a knick-knack, etc.). This way, every time a family member thinks or asks about the object, you will remember the time capsule and look forward to opening it.
A few individual objects
Let each child in the family choose an object that means something to them to put in the time capsule. This will help them take ownership in the process and give them something to look forward to in opening it. Just think of your children, 10 years from now discovering their old memories and keepsakes!
With these few ideas, you are ready to start planning your time capsule! If you want a more elaborate list, check this out. Start preparing your kids now and make this activity an integral and memorable part of your family reunion this year.