December Daily | Lessons Learned

This past year will mark the seventh year that I have created a Christmas album. I say “Christmas album” instead of “December Daily” because I have never truly done a December Daily until this year.

Way back in 2009, I began putting together my Christmas photos into some type of album. Then it was usually something handmade. One year, I even die cut a small box, wrapped it like a present, and printed my photos in 3×3, and put them in the box. So cute!

 

Most years I waited until after Christmas, gathered all the holiday-related pictures, then completed my album. I picked out my supplies early, but never worked on an album ahead of time.

 

Until 2015. That year I featured my album on a series of blog posts at Counterfeit Kit Challenge, so I had to work a little ahead of time. I still wasn’t doing a true December Daily, but I did lay out much of my album in the first two weeks of December. I even filled in a few of the earlier pages to feature on the blog post.

 

That year was the first year I had ever worked on my album during December. I really enjoyed it! I liked creating holiday pages during the actual holiday season.

 

So this year, I decided to {GASP!} actually do a December Daily. I used a Simple Stories 6×8 album, a Christmas kit from Noel Mignon, and journaling prompts from Shimelle’s Journal Your Christmas.

 

I purposely made the album simple–two photos from each day, one on each side of the spread, journaling with each photo, and minimal embellishments.

 

And I did it! I have a completed album documenting twenty-five days in December. I did fall behind a bit around the second week, due to the many events going on in my life. But I knew that I would have some time to catch up later on in the month.

 

 

What was most interesting was hearing and reading about many people’s experiences with December Daily (some positive, some negative), which was a topic on every podcast I listened to and most Facebook pages I read. After the holidays were over, I reflected on many of the lessons I learned from this project.

  1. If you don’t LOVE Christmas, don’t try to do a December Daily. I have always made holiday projects because Christmas is my second most favorite time of year (summer is my favorite). I LOVE Christmas and everything about it. (I LOVE summer too–and I often make summer albums. I have not, however, made a winter album, because I loathe winter.)
  2. Limit the supplies you use for your album. I chose ALL of my supplies ahead of time so that I could quickly put my pages together. I didn’t have to rummage through my entire stash of Thickers just to find the right ones. I used the ones that were in my kit.
  3. Perfectionism has NO place in a December Daily album. If I made my album polished and shiny, I would STILL be working on it. I have photographs that are blurry, dark, too far away, or crooked, but they are in my album because they represent what we did that day. I (and everyone else who looks at this album) will love the memory that the picture represents, not judge its quality. My pages aren’t stellar works of art, but they each have heartfelt journaling and at least one cute embellishment.
  4. Make December Daily your own. Don’t be discouraged by all of the hype surrounding December Daily. Do what makes you happy–make a traveler’s notebook, create a series of layouts, or write in a journal. Just do what you LOVE.
  5. Don’t give up! I fell behind around the 11th of December which was a busy time for me and my family. I almost gave up, thinking, how am I going to do a December Daily when I’ve missed three days? But I just did a little at a time until I could catch up.

 

Will I do a December Daily again next year? I’m not sure. As much as I enjoyed working on an album during the holiday season, I did feel some extra pressure to be in my craft room when I could have been doing something else (like wrapping presents or making cookies.) However, by keeping the album simple, I was able to put together pages fairly quickly.

The main reason that I think I will do this type of album again is that I reallyfelt like I enjoyed each and every day of this Christmas. And I have the album to prove it!

Now go create!


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