Hi, it's Amy Sorensen, and I’m starting my post today with a confession:
December Daily albums and I don’t get along.
Don’t get me wrong—I’m an admirer. A fan, even. Of other people’s December Daily albums. I love the concept. I love the notion of capturing the little moments that make December so beloved. I love the thought of all those moments kept in one space.
I just don’t know how anyone manages to ever finish one.
I mean, here it is, only December 5, and already I feel like I’m running out of time before December 25. Only twenty days away! I still have tons of shopping left to do. Neighbor gifts. A family photo shoot. I need to write our Christmas card, make the photo calendar for my husband, and wrap all those presents I haven’t bought yet. Make fudge and caramel, bake sugar cookies and candy cane cookies and minty-triple-chocolate cookies. Help my mom get her tree decorated, figure out stocking stuffers, and find the chocolate oranges without which Christmas would not be Christmas.
I can’t seem to fit much scrapbooking into December. Aside from the photos for the cards and the calendar, Photoshop doesn’t get opened. My supplies get dusty. I get antsy from the lack of creativity. And I am awed by those of you who make (and finish!) December Daily albums.
But I also remain enamored of the concept: capturing little moments, the experiences which add depth and breadth to Christmas but can get lost in the drama of The Big Day.
So I came up with a way to capture little moments. Little tiny moments. This isn’t elaborate; it’s simple and straightforward and quick and entirely doable in the frenetic pace my life takes on in December:
This is my book of December days. It’s a perpetual calendar for the next ten years’ worth of Decembers. There is a page for each day in December (embellished with a quote about Christmas or the holiday spirit) and a little space to write what we did on that day each year. Nothing enormous, just a small, simple pleasure or two from the day:
It fits in a little 4x6 1-up albums I picked up at Target last January on clearance for fifty cents. (I checked; Target still carries them!) Once all 31 days of cards are in the album, there are exactly enough pages left for ten photos (if I use the inside back cover), so each year I’ll slide in one family or absolutely favorite photo from that December.
And that’s it: a simple way of documenting my family’s December in a method even I can manage!
I’ve only written in my Christmas book of December days four times (as today is the fifth and who knows what it will bring!), but I’ve discovered an unexpected perk: I’m finding myself paying more attention, watching for the thing I want to include for that day. So far, nothing big or earth-shattering.
(I've even already had to abbreviate!) But I like the idea of slowly filling in the slots, creating a document of little memories I’d otherwise lose.
Want to make your own Christmas Book of December Days? Here’s how:
1. Find six 12x12 sheets of holiday-esque patterned paper that is subtle enough to be printed on. (I used the b-side of THIS Basic Grey paper.) You could use a bunch of different scraps (you’d need a total of 17 4x12 scraps), six coordinating sheets from the same manufacterer, or six of the same pattern. Up to you!
2. Cut each sheet into one 4x12 and one 8x12 piece.
3. Download the PDF printable: Christmas book of december days.
4. Print pages 1-6 on each of the 6 8x12 pieces you cut in step 2.
5. Print pages 7-12 on the same pieces from step 4, only feed them in the opposite direction. (So you are printing on the bottom, empty space. The direction you feed into your printer will vary depending on your printer.)
6. Print pages 13-17 on each of the 4x12 pieces you cut in step 2. (You’ll have one 4x12 piece left over.)
7. Print pages 18-21 on the same pieces from step 6, only feed them in the opposite direction.
8. Create the cover by using the cardboard insert that comes in the album. Cover each side with the printed 4x6 Title and Intro pages (pages 20 and 21 in the PDF file) and embellish the left over half inch as you wish. (I used the little patterned strip on the paper’s selvage.)
9. Using the piece you have left and whatever embellishments you want, cover both sides of the back cardboard insert. (You'll be using the inside side of this back cover in 2021 for your family or absolute-favorite photo, so plan accordingly!)
10. Stick everything into the album pages.
(The printing is a little bit laborious but it allows you to use every inch of a 12x12 sheet of patterned paper. You can skip steps 4-7 if you have a wide format printer by downloading this 12x12 file instead: Christmas book of december days 12x12, and then just push "print"!)
Another thing I’ve enjoyed so far: flipping through the pages and thinking about how my family might change during the next ten years. What will our lives be like in five or seven or ten years? How will we change? I’m excited to see, and happy to know little pieces of it will be documented along the way.