day 6: How I do December Daily in my own way

I don’t do December Daily, nor do I do *exactly* anything like the popular Christmas scrapbooking series out there. I call what I do December Daily inspired, because Ali Edwards was my initial inspiration and I love her concept and how she captures stories and bits of magic every year.

What I absolutely don’t love, is the idea that I must ‘keep up’, make it daily, or stick to any kind of rules. So, last year the Christmas binder was born.

I walked in delusional. I thought I’d do like 20 pages. I ended up doing 9. THAT IS OK! I just changed the cover to incorporate this year, and on December 26th I tucked the album away with the rest of the holiday stuff. I figure I’ll keep adding years to it until I manage to fill it. I am GRATEFUL that I did the few pages that I managed because things like a new recipe and our holiday card and the Santa 2011 photo are all captured. [here’s my original post about it + link to youtube video I made showing my how-to…]

Here’s the beauty of my book: it is a 8 1/2 x 11 binder. It isn’t a traditional “May” scrapbook. It’s a binder. In my mind, I’ve separated it. It hold stories and photos and some cute stuff too. But there are NO rules. and absolutely NO pressure or expectation of the kind of quality the pages have artistically. Some are straight text. Just typed stories. Others are recipes printed off the internet and glued onto cardstock. COOL! The point here is just capturing bits and pieces quickly as I can so that it actually happens.

This is the only book where I encourage myself to sit down and type a page in Word and print it and call it a scrapbook page. (though I am a fan of topping with Washi tape for a cute accent…) Normally I’m a handwritten kind of girl, but these are often LONG stories, and I’m in a hurry you know? So, typed is encouraged and due to the size I can type, print, then just stick it in a page protector so easy.

Does this album replace my normal Christmas scrapbooking? No, not really. I still like Christmas scrapbook pages in my “yearly” albums. This is something else, closer to a Christmas journal. This is more about capturing words than photos, and (generally) has very little embellishing or creative play. This is December specific, and this blends everything from past, present, and future hopes. One page might have kid doodles the next might have a recipe the next I’m telling a story from my past… who knows.

For my first entry of the season I used an old photo of my grandparents that was sent to me recently, and I talked about their role in my Christmas experience as a child. What I remember, what I loved, what is so cool about having a grandpa that everyone calls Santa. I wrote a full page actually, which was nice because it let me just do a bit of creative play on another page so that this is now a full spread in my book. (Normally I don’t plan quite that way I’m doing single pages…)

The creative page features items found in my Christmas bucket (Pink Paislee paper, October Afternoon brads, Elle’s Studio tag, Tim Holtz ribbon + poinsettia die) – so it came together quickly though I fiddled with my options longer than I should have really.

But that’s ok. Because sometimes pausing to linger, taking a bit of extra time to write out your feelings and a story that is special is worth it. Now my grandparents have their own spot in this Christmas binder, and while I have no doubt they’ll get talked about more in the future there, they’ve got a special spot kicking off my 2012 binder contributions with a special tribute in loving memory.

It isn’t always easy to talk about those who are no longer with us, but talking about something great they brought to our lives, or something that you’ll always remember them for can be a great way to cherish and pay tribute to those we love. I found writing and creating these pages really was a great theraputic session for me, and I wanted to share.

Remembering people no longer with us is one idea – there are hundreds if not thousands of possible things to document from swatches of this year’s wrapping paper to pics with Santa to new recipes that are awesome (or fail). Instead of focusing on what I don’t manage to get done, the trick is really to appreciate what I *do* accomplish and also to enjoy the pages and stories I am able to contribute to my binder. Just remember it isn’t all or nothing – capturing memories and stories of the holidays can be done in many different ways – and it is all good.

Happy Crafting!

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My friends at Simon Says Stamp are sponsoring Camp Scrap: Holiday Edition and have a special discount code to share! Simon Says Stamp is offering 10% off your entire purchase. Use code CSCRAP2 when you check out. Please note that the code is case sensitive and it will expire at 11:59 PM on 12/11/12 eastern standard time.

Comments

  1. Jennifer R. says:

    Very cool idea. December Daily intimidates me. This has a much more relaxed feel.

  2. Fantastic idea. I think this is a much more reasonable approach.

  3. kathy/NorthCarolina says:

    Love this idea, May….

  4. angela g a says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your take on a Christmas binder. I had never even heard of Daily December until this fall and I don’t do PL. I just do scrapbooking of our lives and stories, although I am way behind. Anyway I found a 3ring 8 1/2 by 11 binder in red a few weeks ago and decided to do a Christmas book something similar to what you are doing. I pretty much only scrapbook 12 by 12. And I too decided to just put whatever I want to into this new Christmas binder, no rules or pressure. Neat to discover that you are thinking along the same lines. For some reason I find scrapbooking Christmas stuff way to overwhelming and while my daughter has every fall of her life scrapbooked fully, she has 3 Christmas pages total done so my hope is that this Christmas binder will mean I will get something done! Thanks for your blog.

  5. This is why I love following you. I am definitely not a rule “follower” and don’t do DD or PL. I love the fly by the seat and see what happens. I am definitely looking around for the white binder I found last month while organizing a closet and see what I can come up with. You are such a gem May!

  6. Love this and the picture!!! I have an Uncle who has dressed up as Santa since I was a baby and still does, now my kids get to take part in a fun filled tradition!

  7. Brilliant-a Christmas journal.What a treasure this will be in years to come.Once again thank you for some wonderful inspiration.

  8. Farley Cross says:

    Really like the idea of a Christmas binder to just tuck away whatever photos and memorabilia that happens during the season. I don’t enjoy “pressure” scrapping and this really fits the bill for me.

  9. Such a great idea – thanks May!

  10. I started an album with Christmas stuff, and it’s great to have a home for things I have kept over the years. Now when I run across something from Christmas-past, it goes right into this project bag. It really is a scrapbook, not just a photo album.

  11. I really like your binder idea, and am making note for next year. Thanks!

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