December Daily is “your stories, your joy, your real life truths and traditions at this point in time. This project is about capturing stories – big and small – during the month of December. It’s about finding joy in the little things and looking for & making magic even as adults with serious jobs and serious lives.“ – Ali Edwards
This season I’ll officially be participating in December Daily. I’m excited for the project, but it can feel like a tall order. One of the things I noticed in the scrapbooking community are stories of many unfinished projects. Which sounds exactly like me! I have good intentions to start a project but never finish it or I prepare for a project and never start it! Sound familiar?
I have seen the enjoyment that December Daily brings to scrapbookers and want to create the same family keepsake. So to be successful in this project, I did some research to help me along the way. Below are the 5 tips I’ve gathered from the scrapbooking community and blogs. I hope that you find great ideas for you to have a successful December Daily.
1. There Are No Rules
The first key to a successful December Daily is to remember – there are NO rules! Ali Edwards, the creator of December Daily, started the project in 2007 as a daily album from December 1-25. As the project has evolved over the years, the structure has changed. Some people do their projects from Thanksgiving through December 31. Others document only 25 holiday related stories while others document their daily life during this season. The options are endless and as Ali says, you should make it your own!
The albums also vary in style as much as the stories being told. Ali Edwards sells kits and uses the 6×8 size album and page protectors. I’ve also seen versions in 12×12 Project Life albums, Traveler’s Notebooks, and in digital formats. I’ve decided to stick with a 6×8 album since it doesn’t seem as overwhelming to “fill up the pages.” You should pick the method that will allow you to be successful with this project right now. If one method seems too overwhelming, work with what you have and what you know best.
Just remember to not get caught up in any “rules” – they are usually created internally. We are our own worst enemy, but try to keep an open mind. If it makes it easier, call the project December Stories or December Memories instead of December Daily. Regardless, the project is what you want it to be each December to help you celebrate the season.
2. Start With a Plan
The second key to success is to start with a plan. Now, I know this may seem contradictory to the “there are no rules” advice. You don’t need to have every page planned out from start to finish, but it’s a good idea to have a general idea how you want to approach the project.
How will you document your story? Will you use a 6×8 album and page protectors or will you complete it using the Project Life App?
If you are going to use physical products, also consider creating a little mini kit of your supplies before you start. That preparation of separating out your supplies will keep you focused when you are actually creating the pages. Some people even find it helpful to create “foundation pages” before they start the project. The foundation pages are just about creating beautiful layouts that are prepped and ready for adding a photo and journaling.
As a part of your preparation, create a go to list of ideas if you ever need inspiration. Some days can be about general subjects or prompts that help you tell a story that’s important.
Also, Ali recommends to write down your “Reason Why” or your Intentions page to help guide you through the project. It doesn’t have to be long, but something simple will help you find a common theme throughout your project. For me this year, I choose to write a little note about finding the MAGIC in this season.
3. Include Your Family
The third key to success is to involve your family in the December Daily project. This will benefit you in multiple ways. First off, letting your family know about the project may prompt some new ideas. Ultimately it’s a family keepsake for many years to come, so documenting everyone’s stories of the season will be great memories to have.
By letting your family know, you might also want to talk to them about finding time to document your December stories. If you want to work on the it certain days of the week or a certain time of the day, let them know. Create time where it’s a priority to work on your project.
Another great way to get your family involved is to include them in the storytelling and crafting. Have everyone decorate a tag or answer a list of questions. Have them write so you have a documentation of their handwriting at the time.
4. Make Time to Write Down Your Stories in the Moment
The fourth item for success is to write down your stories in the moment. Even if you don’t plan to scrapbook your December Daily stories in the month of December, you will want to write down the stories. Writing down your thoughts, memories, and all the little details will make a difference. With your normal life schedule plus the hustle and bustle of the holidays, you are bound to forget some of the details. We all do.
So take the time to use one place to write down all of your thoughts, ideas, and stories. You can write them in a notebook and carry it with you. If it’s easier, you can keep your notes digitally using Google Docs or Evernote, so it can be accessed from your phone or computer.
Writing down your stories when they happen is the most important. I’ll be using Evernote and will write down all of our stories using my phone. It’s easy to use for me and I can reference it at anytime.
5. Don’t Stress, Just Relax
The fifth and last key to success is to just relax. Ali Edwards said in her 2016 Hopes For You blog post,
“I hope you find that this project is an opportunity to savor the season (and complement it) vs. causing additional stress for yourself.”
Don’t let this project add on extra stress. Don’t let this project make you feel like you need to add on extra activities just to document them for December Daily. Let this project be a way for you to celebrate the season and all the joys it can bring. Find the method that works best for you to write your December stories and share with your family.
Lets recap the 5 Tips to Prepare for Your December Daily Project to be a success. 1) Don’t get caught up in the rules; 2) Start with a plan; 3) Include your family; 4) Make time to write down your stories in the moment; and 5) Don’t stress, just relax.
With these tips I know we both can be successful at completing our December Daily project. I will post a final wrap-up in January for you to see my finished project. So now it’s time to get started!
In the meantime, tell me about your plans, tips, and advice for completing December Daily. Maybe you’re new to this project, so why don’t you join me and let’s have a successful first round together.
Don’t forget to lead your best creative life today!