Monday, January 4, 2016

On the 11th Day of Christmas....My Christmas Journal

Today, January 4th, is the 11th Day of Christmas.  It is our favorite because this is Eleven Pipers Piping from the Twelve Days of Christmas song...and we are partial to pipers.  (My daughter is named Piper).

Yes, our tree is still up until the Epiphany so it is still Christmasy here, but not for much longer.  So this post is Christmasy too!

I have been so preoccupied with embroidery that I almost let December 2015 slip past without doing my annual Christmas Journal.  I have done three on previous years, all started because of some of my Cricut friends introducing me to Shimelle's JYC (Journal Your Christmas).  Mid-December, however, my crafty genius friend, Sara Andrews, in her very subtle way, helped me to remember that I need to do this.

When I say "need," I don't mean it in the way we say we "need " a piece of fabric or that we "need" a paper collection.  No, I really needed it.

My Christmas journals do several things for me.  They force me to focus on the season.  They require that I live in the moment...and document it!  They give me something to look back upon.  They give me a memento.  Past journals, all those were done meticulously day by day, have been used as a record of when we traveled.  We have referred to them to remember early snows, plans with friends. I include each year's recipes I cooked and baked for Christmas.  I wrote private letters to my future self that I hid away in secret envelopes, sometimes painful, sometimes ominous!  I kept my journals real, though celebratory; honest while festive.  My Christmas Journal is my gift to myself each year.

The day that I admitted I would not do one for 2015 was the middle of the month in December.  No way to catch up as it got closer to Christmas... until I realized that I was actually feeling sad about it. I had been moving the daily prompts that I got from Shimelle to a December Daily/JYC folder in my emails, never opening any.  I knew I would not be using the prompts this year as much as I depended on them in the past.

Later that same day, on an office supply trip to Staples, I grabbed a small binder, a tiny one, and same-size page protectors.  I was going to do one and I was going to start that day. And I did!

Using Christmas papers I bought at a crafting retreat in Virginia (in September!), I filled my journal with my notes, photos (I take pics constantly so that was no problem), ideas, recipes, calendar, and memories.  And I did it in record time, spending only a few days on it as opposed to the daily morning crafting ritual I did on previous ones.

Just a silly, quick collage to fit inside the cover to make it look less like a binder and more like my journal.
I added stickers and cut outs and glitter tulle, nothing fancy, all very fast.  No die cutter used this year!  

I wasn't as good at filling in our calendar as previous years.  Instead of using one of the free printables, this year, I just used one in the paper pad I had.  My attempt to do this in record time shows, I guess!
This page included a pocket for the Christmas cookies we made this year.

I like hand-written journaling even in my more elaborate journals so I was happy to add it to this simple one.
This is the first journal also that I did not do chronologically.  This page is the for the Ballet Tea that is early in the month and I have put it in near the middle of my journal.  I like the freedom I got from this format.  Less rigidity.  It is just what I needed.

I used a collage app on my phone to get tiny photos, like this page on the right where I featured my little selfie project I did with all of my father-in-law's siblings on Christmas Eve.  If I don't think about it, I will completely omit photos of me in my journals.  My selfie project kept that from happening and using tiny photos meant that the whole journal wasn't a selfie project!

This page includes a pocket for the recipes  I made Christmas Day at my house for my whole family as well as my in-laws.  We had a couple of Moroccan dishes, a first for us, this year.  It was awesome.

Last year I started adding a photo CD to all my albums and journals.  It allows me to find photos fast when someone sees one and wants a copy.  It also allows me to keep all the photos that didn't make the book with the ones that did.  I think that when I am gone and my daughter gets these journals to keep, the extra photos will be a little bonus treasure for her.
I plan to put the Christmas cards we received in the inside pockets of the binder!  I have always wanted to find a way to incorporate them.  Surprisingly, this is the year!

I am thrilled that I got this done this year!  And I share it with you, even though it is not as fancy as previous years' journals as a reminder that it can be done and it is not too late!

List of Links Mentioned in This Post:

  • Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas.  You pay one time for prompts and videos to guide you to make your own and then, if you want them, you will receive them every year at no additional charge:  click here.
  • Sara Andrews' blog - this is a link to her Dec 25 December Daily entry:  click here.
Additionally, you can find my previous years' journals here:
Thank you for checking my blog post today!  To see my previous paper projects, check out my Paper Gallery by clicking the tab at the top of the blog or click here.  If you are here looking for embroidery projects, you can find all of them by clicking my Embroidery page tab or just click here.


Kate said...

Wow, what a fun month you guys had! I think I could fit all my December photos for my grown up son into just one! This is so cute, thanks for sharing all the great photos and links!

Sara Andrews said...

Your crafty genius friend thinks you did a FABULOUS job!! ;)

And I'm happy to know that someone else understands just how special documenting the holidays is. Here's to many more albums to come! :)

But wait! There's more! Click 'older posts' above!

But wait!  There's more!  Click 'older posts' above!