"Big Four" Highlights


The Keepsake Capsule

A last-minute gift of memories for her

By Jason Godin
Associate Editor, Fathers for Good

Are you one of the millions of men still searching for an affordable Christmas gift for her with one week left? We all have our reasons in seeking to obtain what seems so elusive every year. Boyfriends (the serious ones) buy to convey commitment to a shared future. Husbands purchase with the treasury of a shared past in mind. Sons seek a way to honor the woman who gave them life. Perhaps you’ve waited until the last possible minute because you’re holding out for the “perfect” gift. But you can’t put positive thinking under the tree. Or can you?

With the Third Week of Advent now in full swing – a week where waiting with hope has transitioned into knowing with joy – what better way to capture her heart than with a keepsake capsule? What is that? It’s a box or an attractive container that is filled by you with cherished items from the life of your beloved. Be careful, guys. The box must be just as nice as the items inside or you’ll lose her from the start. Get one with a lid and clasp, large enough to hold all you plan to place inside it – and then some room for the things she will put in later.

Initially the idea may seem odd. What woman wants a box with a lid? But my making the gift beautiful and personal, you may well capture the depths of her heart as no bottle of perfume or clothing item could. A keepsake capsule provides a unique place – a space intimately her own – where her identity meets with the memories that helped make it. It speaks of life as it showcases the treasures of a lifetime.

Still not sold? For the practical, a convincing case can be made that keepsake capsules are incredibly foolproof gifts. For one, they take very little time and effort to assemble. She probably already has items ready to place inside, making the decision of what size capsule to get her that much easier. If she doesn’t, all it takes is a phone call to her family members or childhood friends for “starter item” ideas. Perhaps they have a picture from her youth that can be printed and framed. If family and friends aren’t immediately available, and you’re looking for a good reason to clean before Christmas, every home has treasures hiding in closets, attics or basements. Find the type of flower you had at your wedding and dry it in the microwave or with silica gel. The kids can help, too. Put their name and date on a picture that they draw of what they like doing best with mommy. The possibilities are endless.

Recently, workers repairing a water leak in the Massachusetts State House unearthed an object embedded in its cornerstone. It was a capsule put there by Paul Revere and Samuel Adams, two leading figures from the founding years of the United States. Inside were an engraved plate, official papers as well as silver and copper coins from the colonial period. What looked like a sooty old container actually turned out to be a treasure chest, because everyone is interested in knowing how people of the past lived.

Perhaps it is worth taking a cue from that colonial-era capsule. Get your beloved a gift this Christmas where what she puts in it will actually gain value with time, as she adds each cherished item. Take what once seemed lost and forgotten and turn it into something found and stored for safekeeping. In the process, and in the spirit of the season, show her that where her treasure is, there also will her heart be, and yours as well (cf. Matthew 6:21).