Yesterday at church I heard one of my friends griping about how much she hates January. “It’s cold and dreary and smoggy,” she was saying, “and you can’t do anything outside. You’re just stuck in your house.”
Which really is precisely the reason I sort of love January. It’s cold and dreary and smoggy, and no one expects you to get anything really productive done. What’s not to love about a month of staying home and getting other stuff done?
I tend to finish a ton of scrapbook layouts in January! And most of them are Christmas layouts, because I’m not one of those Super Scrapbookers who manages beautiful Christmases and December-Daily-style albums. All of which is to say: I hope you’ll bear with me while I share a Christmas layout:
It’s really just a standard Christmas layout: some red and green, some glittery embellishments (although, I confess, I love silvery glittery embellishments quite a bit). What I love about it—what I want to share—is the idea I had for the journaling.
While working on Christmas layouts, I’ve been thinking about how memory and holidays are so closely intertwined. You remember your kids when they were smaller, and you also remember yourself when you were young and experiencing that holiday. That idea infuses the stories I told on this layout. I wrote about how we used to always spend time with each of my grandmothers on Christmas, with lots of details about what happened there. Then I segued into my son’s experiences at his grandparents’ houses during Christmas. I included the addresses of all my grandparents in the story…I had to call my mom and my sister to figure them all out, but those conversations were full of details that sparked other layouts, too. (I wished, after I’d printed the journaling, that I’d also included my kids’ grandparents’ addresses, so I just wrote them in a note on the back of the layout.)
So here’s a little journaling challenge for you. When you are writing your stories, sometimes try to think backwards—remember something from your childhood, or from when your child was younger, and connect it to the event (it doesn’t have to be a holiday) you’re writing about. Writing like this creates interesting, layered stories. It’s also an approach you can take when you’re stumped on what else you might write about.