Thrifty Thursday: How to Make a 2009 Time Capsule

Are you looking for a way to make this New Year’s Eve meaningful and memorable? Here is a cheap and easy way to bring the family together for a time of reflection on 2009. Every year on New Year’s Eve our extended family gets together for sauerkraut, cabbage rolls, games and the making of a time capsule! Then we toast in the New Year with sparkling grape juice! This is our family tradition!
Here’s how to make a time capsule:

First get a container – mine is simply a Quaker Oats can cleaned out. Then we decorate the outside of the can by covering it with white paper and allowing the children to draw pictures. Then we mark the can clearly with the date.

Before the party, I remind everyone to bring something for the time capsule. Every child from newborn up through the oldest grandparent comes prepared. Then we sit in a circle and we simply pass the can around and put something inside that represents what God did in the year 2009.

Over the years I have put in ultrasound photos, a Binky my daughter had just given up, a ruler representing growth in my life, verses and many more things. Some others have put in poems, verses, letters to the family, the deed to their house that was paid off that year, photos of children they were ministering to, a rubber ball representing the ups and downs of the year and countless business cards have gone in. The children have put in footballs, awards, school photos and sports photos.

As the capsule is going around, I write down what each person puts into the capsule and what it meant – so we do not forget the significance when we open it someday. Then I seal it with packaging tape and store it in a bin in the attic.

This year after we seal the 2009 time capsule we will open 2003’s capsule. I can’t wait to remember the great joys of the past and the faithfulness of God as he brought us through past trials. This is always a meaningful moment of sharing and thus far I have not done this without tears! Every year my soul is touched!

So if you want to start a meaningful tradition with your family, try a time capsule as a way to remember God’s hand in your life and to draw your family closer together.

Walk with the King into a Happy New Year!


  1. Great idea. I was thinking of doing this. We have church/fellowship on New Years every year. I but I was thinking of doing this on our First Family Night in January. I like the idea of Oatmeal containers.

  2. I love this! I can't wait to tell the kids about this! They will be so excited. I wish I had heard of this years ago so we would have all these years covered. Thanks for the new tradition and have a wonderful new year!

  3. What a great blog you have – My sister-in-law told me about it 🙂 I love this idea & think we may have to start it once we have darling children of our own! We are newylwed's & loving thinking about new traditions for us as a family.

    Blessings & Happy New Year!

  4. What a great idea!!! I've thought about doing a time capsule, but never considered using an oatmeal container. Let us know how it goes opening up your 2003 time capsule! It sounds exciting. : )

    I saw an idea on the net about writing a letter to yourself for the next year, then stuffing them in your stockings (which will be packed away safely until after Thanksgiving 2010) so you can open them the following year. I would like to try that tonight.

    We may try the time capsule later this month/year. It sounds like fun!

    Have a happy New Year's Eve Courtney!

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