The instructions were to save a variety of mementos in the box for her to open at some future date, say her 20th Birthday perhaps, and see what things were like at the time when she was born. It's the perfect gift for new, hoarder parents but I recommend it for anyone.
You could make one yourself, without buying a fancy box. If you do, I recommend a plastic bin of a similar size. Plastic keeps things preserved better. But, our stuff did okay in the cardboard.
There are actually tons of Time Capsule ideas on Pinterest, which looks like a very fun gift for new babies, weddings etc.
We saved a newspaper from Cissy's date of birth, a People Magazine from that week - which happened to have Mel Gibson on the cover as one of People's most beautiful people of 1996, the hospital scrubs that Honey Bunch wore in the operating room and lots more stuff. By the way, the scrubs have Cissy's tiny foot prints on the back. Awww.
We also put in:
- The Church announcements from her birth date and baby dedication
- What's left of the balloons from the hospital (don't do this, they will melt and stick to things and dry up and flake off - not good)
- ID Bracelet and ID Card from hospital
- Plastic baby shower cake decorations (told ya - hoarder)
- A first year childcare book (things have changed since 1996)
- A baby products catalog
- Tons of cards from friends and relatives
- Crayon pictures drawn by her (then) toddler cousins
- Photo booth pictures of our new family of three
But the best thing - the best thing was the letters from the past. Back then I was a bossy young woman. I've mellowed so much now. I asked every friend and relative who would put up with me to write a letter to the new baby for her time capsule, and they did. I got letters from all her grandparents, me and Honey Bunch of course, And several others. Reading those has been the most touching part. Cissy, Honey and I read them together and just cried. There were predictions, there were descriptions of her early babyhood that I had forgotten about, like how she used to sleep fitfully and flinch if I touched her back (which I did anyway, I remember now). There are also letters from family and friends who have passed on and that's sad and touching and it's nice to get a small piece of them back again.
As the mother of two nearly adults, I feel like I blew it in some ways and it's too late now. Little things like not taking enough pictures (though they would tell you otherwise) or not having organized the pictures, or not teaching them how to debone a chicken (I don't know how to debone a chicken myself, actually). But, anyhoo - at least I got this time capsule thing. That's one thing I did right.