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Christmas Time Capsules

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

Christmas will be here before you know it. Many of us are putting up the Christmas tree and trying to decide if we really want to celebrate this year. Christmas without our loved ones is very difficult. We miss them, it’s as plain as that. Our traditions may stay the same but there is an empty chair at the table and a void in our heart. Christmas is a time for families and when members are missing the celebrations seem melancholier. The adults in the family try to be upbeat because the children are excited. The older children sense the shift and watch the adults to see how they should react. The adults tip toe around each other and avoid mentioning the missing person that has died for fear of bringing sorrow into the day. Every family that has ever experienced a death faces the challenge of Christmas. The events I described my not be exact for your family, but they are similar.


Creating a verbal time capsule creates a legacy. Talk about your loved one, mention his name. The person that died was a vital part of the family. You honor that person by not forgetting them on Christmas. You honor them by talking about them, mentioning their name and sharing how much you miss them. You might shed a tear or two, that’s okay. Trust me, the spouse who is living will love hearing her husband referred to. Your stories honor her husband’s life and honor his place as husband, dad, grandpa and uncle. Remember Christmases past by reliving memories. Storytelling is a great way of passing legacies down the generations and kids love to hear stories of their family.


Creating a Christmas time capsule is a great way to preserve the memories from one year to the next. Get everyone in the family involved by giving each person ample time to think about what they would like to include in the capsule. Items to include might be a description of the food that was eaten, an ornament in honor of your loved one, letters to your loved one, list of everyone who was present, who hosted the gathering, pictures colored by the kids, school pictures or family photos, a recipe, Christmas cards, wine corks, funny stories, a description of the day (weather, what games people played etc). Place the box in a prominent place and let people add to the box as the day goes on or make a ceremony of placing the items in the box, taking time to share why each person chose what they did for the capsule. At the end of the day seal the box up and pack it away with the decorations.


Opening the Christmas time capsule the following Christmas will create an atmosphere of wonder and contemplation. Each item can be removed and talked about. Your recollections will be a reminder of how you honored your loved one last year. You will be able to contemplate the growth that you experienced throughout the year. You will see how the grief in your life has changed. Maybe a new family tradition will be started and the Christmas time capsule will be filled each year with new items.



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