Preparing for December.

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Did you laugh at me the other day when I mentioned our first fireplace fire of the season? Faraway folks might find it funny when southern californians find weather in the mid 60’s to be an occasion for a wood-burning fire. But when the temperature the day before was 89, mid 60’s are something to note. Fall is here! Well, what we like to call fall, that is. This is a somewhat non-comittal season which begins somewhere in late October and hangs around for five or six months. For a month between Thanksgiving and Christmas we pretend it is winter, donning scarves and gloves at the slightest chill. Somewhere in Aprilish we celebrate spring, if only to make Easter seem a bit more appropriate. Then, although we’ve been playing outdoors and encountering short heat waves for months, we declare summer to have arrived sometime in June or July. Californians are a funny bunch, aren’t we?

To celebrate the impending arrival of “winter,” I’m beginning my December daily scrapbook. I first used this idea (courtesy of Ali Edwards) two years ago, and I so loved it that I’ve done it each year since. The idea is that the holidays become so stressful sometimes that we fail to enjoy them and think of them as work, especially the memory-keeping that piles up into January. Rather than feeling guilty and forced in the new year to record the season’s memories, we make a scrapbook beforehand. Every few days or weeks in December, we print out our holiday pictures and paste them into an album that we’ve already created sometime before Thanksgiving. We keep some embellishments handy to paste overtop of the pictures and jot down our thoughts and joys as they happen. It transforms the memory-keeping process of the holidays into one of purposeful joy and celebration. And when Christmas is over we have a completed album and are ready to move our focus onto other projects. What release!

This year my December daily is startlingly simple. I just used a Simply Scrappin’ kit from Stampin’ Up! and made a 5×7 book into which I’ll paste 4×6 prints along with 5×7’s of my favorites (these will become their own pages in the book.) The kit includes cardstock stickers I can attach overtop, and I’ll journal as I go. I may have to buy some smaller embellishments (most of the kit embellishments are pretty big) but this is the basic idea. Below you’ll find this year’s (blank) book along with the past two years’ books, completed. If you like the idea, visit here, where they’re just starting the process of making this year’s December daily. Bring on the holidays!

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my december album 2007

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Inside the 2007 album…4×6 pictures were the base of each page (backed by patterned paper or another picture) and I put the embellishments and journaling right over top.

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I even turned the album either way so that vertical pictures fit in, too.

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2008 December album…I went with a 6″ x 12″ format because I wanted a little more room for decorating the pages and having multiple pictures of events.

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I used shaped papers (like the arch on the left page) and regular papers mixed together.

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I like adding crafts and mementos right into the books, too.

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The cover of this year’s december album. I love the red, olive, chocolate, ivory color combo. The book looks so skinny now, but it will fatten up quickly!

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The inner pages are just patterned paper or plain textured cardstock from the scrappin’ kit from Stampin’ Up!

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Here are the supplies waiting to embellish the pictures as I go. I think I’ll probably add a few more supplies that coordinate.

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And the back cover. Maybe I’ll add a little journaling block in the lower right hand corner with the Christmas highlights?

Just a note: I call these december albums because they don’t just document Christmas day or the parties surrounding it. We spend the whole month of December celebrating and anticipating Jesus’ birthday. Each day we open (several) advent calendars with the story of Jesus’ birth and we do an activity from our activity calendar, just like I did with my family growing up. It makes for a whole month of merriment and celebration and most importantly, thinking about Jesus and his ministry on earth. We love December. Do you have a favorite way of keeping the memories of the season each year?

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5 thoughts on “Preparing for December.

  1. I know I already commented here, but I was just looking back and think it’s such a great idea to use those rings and create an album like that, instead of buying an album. Food for scrapbooking thought. Hmmm….

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