Happy New Year! I wanted to share my completed Christmas Journal with you!
Creating a Christmas Journal each December has become one of my very favorite things each year! It is a true snapshot of our lives and represents how our year has gone. It forces me to find a bit of Christmas each day, to document our lives for that month, and to think about each day in context.
Some entries are like diary pages where I display my thoughts and photos of things that happened that day.
Others are memories of Christmases past.
Others are my plans. This year, I also included my recipes.
Still others include special notes that are intended only for my eyes or for someone willing to search for and open envelopes. Looking at past Christmas Journals is like going back in time.
I try to keep my journals real. In that, I mean I don't strive to show only the Norman Rockwell parts of our December; I think about and include everything...even the hard things. Most of those are hidden away, but still there. I love that because sometimes those are the most life-changing things, the things that bring us closer to each other, to God, to self-understanding. My "letters to my future self" are some of the most meaningful entries that I treasure as much as photos of my child's face on Christmas morning. Those things aren't the ones I showcase on my blog, but when you see a pocket with stuff inside, a closed envelope, or hints of pages behind pages, that's what they are! If you are a Christmas journal maker, I highly suggest including these kinds of entries.
December is a busy time of year for everyone. Decorating, several family get-togethers involving cleaning, shopping, cooking, preparing, and planning, extra masses and church events, parties for business and my daughter's extra-curricular activities, events at her school, and gift shopping and crafting all seem overwhelming on top of work and household chores. The idea of adding a daily journaling and photography project can seem punishing but I see it a bit differently.
The biggest problem I have every year is keeping it from getting too thick. My only stipulation is that I need to be able to bind it! That, largely, is why I end my journal just after Christmas Day!
This year, I also included notes for next year. How about that for looking to the future?
A suggestion this year was to include pictures of me in my Journal, since I am usually the one behind the camera. There are eight photos of me in this one thanks to my daughter. That is a first! Last year, I also started adding a photo CD of all my December photos in the back of the journal. As you can imagine, many photos I take never make it to the Journal, but this way, the pictures are there! And sometimes, after looking through my Christmas Journals, someone will want a copy of a photo and this makes it much easier to find and make a copy! I now do this for all of my albums.
So how did I get started with Christmas Journaling? A few years ago, several crafting friends posted about this and clued me in to Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas. You pay for one year, and every year after that, you receive daily email prompts at no charge. Some days I use the prompts and photography tips; some days I do my own thing. The biggest enabler in this was Sara Andrews. Check out her blog to see her perfect and beautiful December Dailies!
I largely use my own papers and bind with my Zutter Bind-It-All, but there are so many ways to do this and no ONE way that it should be done. This year, I sized my journal at 6"x 8". I used 1-1/4" o-wires to bind and created my cover with art board that I covered. I did try one new-to-me craft item this year: Heidi Swapp's Color Shine. I loved that for spritzing and splattering gold on my pages and cover. I find that I prefer using my Expression with cartridges and punches for my Christmas Journals because they are super fast and I am short on time. I hand cut my pages and used a punch for my 1" circle behind each date. The numbers for the dates were cut from Cricut Everyday Font F5 at 3/4" (H). The arrows for my short pages were cut using Cricut Artbooking. Tiny Tim was cut from Cricut Quilted Christmas for my Dec 7th page. The envelopes from the 14th and 15th were cut from Cricut Artiste. The scrolly frame on the 8th was cut from Cricut Christmas Kitsch at 5-1/2" (H). The Rudolph on my cover was also cut from Christmas Kitsch at 6"(H). The Calendar that I used next to my December 3rd page can be found by clicking here, at the Stitch in Time Blog.
To see my 2013 Christmas Journal, click here.
To see my 2012 Christmas Journal, click here.
Thank you for checking my blog today! It is never too late to finish a Christmas Journal. Best wishes that yours is underway, completed, or a future possibility!