December Daily Flips

Did you commit the epic crime of starting a December Daily and not finishing last year?  Me too!  But no fear - the scrapbooking police w...

Did you commit the epic crime of starting a December Daily and not finishing last year?  Me too!  But no fear - the scrapbooking police won’t come and arrest you!  Any memories and stories that you documented are still valuable for your family.

If you haven't heard about December Daily before, it is a yearly project developed by Ali Edwards.
December Daily® is a December mini-album project that documents the 25 days leading up to Christmas. The simple goal is to capture the spirit of December via one story per day.
This year, let’s join together to achieve our December Daily goals.  Today I’ve got two unfinished December Dailies to show you.  One is from 2013 and one is from 2014.  I attempted to do foundation pages for both - but I never had them finished before December started.  This is one area I definitely want to improve on for this year!  One of my biggest fails for December Daily was not prepping in time before December started.

You need a plan this year!

Countless people start their December Dailies and never finish them.  Most often, the reason is due to the planning phase or the lack of a plan at all.  Another problem for me is that I struggle to decide how to decorate the pages when prepping, because I don’t know what will actually happen that day.  Will it be the day we decorate the tree or will it be a boring day that we just drink coffee and hot cocoa?

Despite the fact that I didn’t finish either book, I learned quite a bit about myself in the process.  I love this project.  But I need to properly plan in order to succeed because my December is just so insanely crazy (darn retail) and I’m sure your December is too.  I’ve tried several different but similar approaches the last two years with only rough ideas of what my album will look like - that has been my downfall.  This year I want foundations and creative bits that are already done way before December gets here. 

Use your past December Daily flops to figure out how to make this year a success and simplify!  
You don’t need to incorporate every little thing that everyone has done with their own December Dailies to get a great December Daily that you love.  You may need to simplify your own process so that you get the important stuff down - the photos and the memories and the stories - because that’s really what its all about.  The pretty stuff is just fluff!  The pretty stuff might make it fun, but the really important thing is finishing. So if the pretty fluffy stuff is making you stop and debate and put off the project, then you need to pare down back to the basics.  Photos and stories. 

Let’s address some of the December Daily myths!

  • You don’t have to create your pages chronologically.  
  • Your pages don't have to include something Christmasty every day.  
  • Your photos don't have tell huge stories (even those everyday little stories about your favorite coffee cup can have a home in your December Daily).  
  • You do not have to approach December Daily like its a month long look at everything in your life.  Do not try to make this a highly focused project where you detail every little thing that happens on every single day.  That will lead to immediate failure, right out of the gates!  
  • You can pick the highlights.  
  • You can even fudge the days when you want to because its your book and your story.    
  • You can use photos from other days if you miss a day.  
  • You can have just a decorative page or filler quote if you fall behind.  
It’s all good and it’s all okay.  The important thing is finishing the book and documenting these stories.  Your best laid plans won’t matter if you don’t get it done for you and your family to enjoy!  The most gorgeous and perfect patterned paper is worthless if it doesn’t make it into your album!  

December Daily (2013) Products
My foundations were a mix of Kathy Orta style pages using cards, envelopes, and paper sacks which she created on her Youtube channel, and 6x8 page protectors.  I also tried to use one predominate product line throughout the album (Crate Paper Bundled Up and the Project Life Christmas collection - I’m not sure what it was called, but it was very similar to the Crate Paper collection).  I also managed to get my hands on some Heidi Swapp Believe collection towards the end of December so that makes its way into the album towards the end of the month.  I also included quite a few free printables from my calendar page to the budget list - although neither one got filled out throughout the month.

December Daily (2014) Products 
Once again my foundation pages are a mix of Kathy Orta style plus some 6x8 page protectors.  I have some fun interactive elements, vellum dividers, and some old Christmas cards.  I made a really cool shaker pocket as part of my title page.  I focused on using rounded corners, doilies, and a mix vellum 3x4 cards throughout the album.  I also used a mix of Midnight and Bundled Up Project Life cards.  However, I only documented the first week of December!

What I learned from reviewing my albums:

  • I love the interactive pages inspired by Kathy Orta.  This is something I definitely want to add into my 2015 album, but I need to find a way to make it a bit simpler so I’m better at actually doing it towards the end of the month - this can be achieved by doing foundation pages!  
  • I’ve always collected all my supplies into one area, which really works for me.  
  • I printed my photos at home for 2013 and I ordered my photos for 2014 so they’d be better quality.  Or I should say that was my plan though most pages don’t have photos on them...
  • I’m not interested in vintage images, because they don’t mesh with my style of photography and stories.  
  • I do love having a set kind of color scheme (red, green, black, white, with touches of blue and pink).
  • I love to add in ephemera and stuff!  I love the Starbucks coffee cup coozie and I also have a great old book about the history of Christmas around the world.  I want to incorporate this book into my December Daily pages this year!  
  • My pages get much simpler about half way through the month.  They become photo-centric with much less journaling than I had earlier in the month. 

List your priorities for this year!
One of my favorite things about Christmas is all the lights and glow that sounds everything.  I love driving around town to look at lights twinkling.  The lights are just simply magic.  I’ve never actually journaled my love for Christmas lights in my December Daily, because my journaling is always hit or miss.  Definitely another area for improvement this year!  Not only journaling about Christmas lights and their magic, but also journaling about the reasons behind some of our traditions that have developed over time.  None of this is documented in my December Dailies so far - and these are some important stories that no one else knows about except me.  That’s a sign that I need to make these stories a priority this year!  What stories are missing in your December Dailies as you review your past years?  Add it to your list to get it written down and documented for this year!

Focus on changing how you've done things in the past so that you can succeed this year!
If you’re anything like me, you have unfinished December Dailies sitting on your shelves gathering dust.  Let’s make the commitment this year that we’re going to finish these amazing albums.  Because the important thing is finishing the book and documenting these stories.  Your best laid plans don’t matter if you don’t get it done for you and your family to enjoy!  These things are important!  We need to spend these next couple of weeks deciding what has really worked for us in the past and what has not.  So that we can go into December knowing that this is the year we’re going to produce a beautiful finished December Daily for our family to enjoy for years to come!

I'm aiming to help you this year through December Quickies.  December Quickies will be 5-15 minute projects that can help you prep to succeed in your December Daily dreams.  My hope is that these jumping off points will help you actually get to the finish line!  Join me on this creative journey this season, and we will finish together!

Let’s create space for some creativity this month so that we are more prepared for December!

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