Monday, January 10, 2022

The Christmas Time Capsule

Welcome. This is my blog. Enjoy.

This weekend we did the thing I hate. We took down Christmas.  It's about a half days worth of work and the house always feels a little duller from the lack of festive red and green and gold, but, and there is a but, it feels new.

Not brand spanking new, but new as in there are new possibilities for what I can put where.  When we put up the Christmas decorations on the Friday after Thanksgiving, I move things around. The living room furniture gets rearranged to accommodate the tree, many of the living room shelf décor gets removed to make way for old and new Christmas boops and bops, even pictures get a refresh with either wrapping paper or Christmas photo swaps (I do have an old but new for you post about that here). 

But when we take it all down, it feels like a clean slate. I don't have to put that photo back on the wall, right there, I can move that frame, I can even swap out that photo. I can move that vase and mini bird house from the living room to the office and swap out some books to put on shelves and tables in the living room. The coffee table get a refresh.  It's nice to know I can make some changes, because let's be honest, isn't that what the new year is all about?

One of our light traditions ("light" meaning I don't insist on it, but I've done it more years than I've not since moving to our home in 2013), is the Christmas Time Capsule.  It started the year after I found the note to myself about the Christmas lights.  Sit down for another story time, #sorrynotsorry.

Picture it. The house. 2015ish. The Friday after Thanksgiving. My husband and I are starting to pull Christmas down from where ever it's been stored in the garage and opening boxes and saying, "are we gonna put these out this year?" and "do these fit the theme this year?" Ok fine, it's me asking those questions but hey, I'm the big picture guy while Rob is the hands behind the operation.

We come to a box of lights and we look at it and say, "do these even work?" As Rob started to pull them from the box, a white piece of paper is found tucked in amongst them. When I open the note it states something along the lines of, "half the lights don't work but it could be salvaged if you want to put two strands together, but it would be a lot of work."  Or the other option presented that we could just replace the strand. The note also said this is possibly the second year we've debated this.  Rob and I looked at each other realizing we put this note in last year when we were taking down the lights and Christmas. 

We realized that we knew back then that we would question what we were thinking, so to combat that, I wrote a note to our future Christmas selves. Genius!

I would love to say, "and we threw those lights away and bought new ones!" or say, "and we used those lights again that year!" But frankly, I have no clue what we did with those lights or what our decision was.  I do know the note and the thoughts, inspired The Christmas Time Capsule and it was really easy to do.

When that Christmas season was over, and it was "that" time again, (you know, "that time," when we have to take down the tree and decorations), I asked each member of our family a couple of questions.  The girls were young, so it was like, what's your favorite movie, what was your favorite memory, and what do you want to do in the new year.  I wrote it on a piece of paper, stuck it in a zip lock and jammed it into the ornament box.

I've done something along those lines, roughly every year since then.  I think we didn't do 2018 and I think 2020, but almost every year, I write something.  This year, I wrote the questions but everyone wrote their own answers (except Rob, I wrote his but he gave me his answers).  I slipped the paper in a zip lock (I started saving Christmas cards as well and those live in the zip lock as well)  and put it in the box with the Christmas ornaments, to be discovered next year. Each year has a new zip lock with the year written on it.  

I love this little thing we do because I realize a lot can change in a year, and it's a set time to review.  While we are putting up the tree next year, nestled next our Polar Express ornaments and Baby's First Christmas ornaments is a zip lock filled with last year's Christmas cards and our time capsule. We can review last year's favorites, and see if we met our goals or did what we wanted to do. We can also look back on past years to see how our answers have changed.

If this is something that you want to try for next year (or this year, if Christmas is still in full swing in your house), here are some ideas of questions to get your ball rolling:

  • Name and Year-I would recomend putting the Christmas year, not the current year if it's after New Year's Day
  • Favorite Movie/Book/TV/YouTube-remember it doesn't have to have been released THIS year, it can just be favorite or all time, it's still nice to see if the answers change and how they changed
  • Favorite Memory-it's nice to see what people say and how they look back on the year, it can be from Christmas or anytime over the last year
  • Something You Learned-now both my husband and I this year were searching our brain for something momentous and abstract (think to be kinder, or not to judge others) but my oldest, who's 10, wrote she learned division with double digit numbers and let me tell you, it switched my thinking, I learned Canva this year and I was proud of that
  • Something You're Looking Forward to for Next Year-it could a trip or a TV show or movie, anything really
  • Any Goals for the New Year-I worded it like this specifically to encourage my family not to put too much pressure on themselves. Any day could be day 1 so you don't need to think the New Year is the only time to start a goal, and if you put something down, you have all year to achieve it, not just the first 15 days or so, but it's also ok to not have a goal and use this year/season of your life as  recharge/reset

Some additional questions you could include are: 

Favorite Song, Favorite Food, Favorite Trip, Something that made you Laugh the Most, Something that made you Cry, Favorite Meme, Best Advice You Received This Year, Advice for Yourself for Next Year, Best Compliment You Received This Year

There are so many great questions that you can put in your own Christmas Capsule, please feel free to share them so others can use them if they want!

Thank you and have a great day!


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