Welcome to the rukristin papercrafts inaugural Holiday Extravaganza Blog Party.
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This guest post comes to us from Whitney from Modern Day Memory Keeper
Hello I’m Whitney and I am your December memory keeping guru for the day. December daily type projects are all the rage in the scrapbooking world and I truly believe that they can add to your season.
For most of us December is full. Full of holiday engagements, end of year wrap ups, and plenty of stress that comes with family togetherness. Plus it’s so easy to get caught up in all the product, the beautiful new product, that this season brings! It’s enough to make you feel overwhelmed at day one and just give up on any kind of daily memory keeping all together.
So let’s take a step back and inhale/exhale together as we try to set up a game plan to get the most out of documenting your December.
Step 1: Set your intention
This is my inner yogi speaking but I’m telling you this step works for just about every thing you face in your life. Ask yourself what your intention is with taking on a December project. This isn’t a deadline or a must do, this is bigger than that. This is about the big picture of this project, what do you want to get out of it? Why are you documenting this month, this time in your life?
It doesn’t matter what your intention is, there is no right or wrong when it comes to memory keeping. What matters is that your time is invested in the best way possible and that you are happy at the end of it all.
Step 2: Do the prep work now
Knowing your intention will help with this aspect. I am simply using one of my Christmas books, 25 pages bound together with binder rings, and a journaling prompt each day. For me it is the journaling that is most important, but I still want my book to look beautiful so I’m taking a cue from pretty patterned paper and letting it do all the hard work for me. If I have time and energy later I may go back in with more embellishments, but for now it is simple and that is much less stressful for me.
Step 3: Be yourself in your story telling
My favorite scrapbook pages and mini books are the ones where my voice clearly comes through in the journaling. I’m not trying to mimic another style or sound like someone I’m not. This takes some practice and something I think that helps is to have a prompt for every day. Last year I used a word a day. I picked the words out in advance and used them to apply to that day however I wanted, whether with photos or events, and it was really useful in keeping me focused. I decided to blog all my journaling and then made my pages in chunks when I had time.
This year I’m giving myself a really simple prompt, “Today I want to remember…” I really think this will let me tell those smaller stories and allow me to journal about myself as well as my family members.
Step 4: Take it day by day
With any long project, daily or not, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of days to fill. Remember your intention and come back to that here. Allow yourself the time to create, or write, or both, and know that some days the time or the inspiration may not be there.
Some days will just suck. Last year there was a horrible event in this country that really knocked the air out of me and I questioned how to confront it. I couldn’t ignore it. I would know looking back that it was there and my documenting wouldn’t feel authentic. However I didn’t want to make it too big of a deal since this wasn’t really the place for that as I make these books with my entire family in mind. I needed a way to allude to it and this is what I came up with.
I hope every day in your December is full of joy, but if reality seeps in and throws you off, try to take it as it comes and do what feels right for you. Sometimes that may mean leaving it out and sometimes that may be going all in with your journaling.
Step 5: Treasure the time you get to reflect
Reflection is the reason I am taking on this project for the third year in a row. I find that when I am intentional (see that word again?) with my memory keeping I end up learning more about my life and myself than I really thought possible.
It’s easy to dismiss this type of project as superficial, and it can be if you make it that way, but the reason I love pulling out my past albums and actually reading through them is because I learn something. Just remembering who you were at a specific time in the past can really help you out in the present. Whether it’s to remind you that you’ve got to move forward or to celebrate how far you’ve come, these little time capsules of our lives can be very rewarding.
Step 6: Finish when you are finished
Maybe you will get 25-30 days documented or maybe you will be really detailed for 10 and then want to stop. There is no point in forcing it if it just isn’t going to happen and, again, you need to go back to that intention.
Step 7: Enjoy your December
So here’s what it really all comes down to. Before you can fill up any album, before you can cut up any pretty paper, you need to enjoy the season! The whirlwind of festivities is going to happen no matter what so you might as well enjoy the ride. Use your project for the month as a chance to get more out of the season, not add to the stress.
I hope you carry this introspection with you and document your life however you see fit. Whether for yourself or for others to see some day, your story is important and your life matters. Now, back to the party! Let’s keep the Extravaganza going!!
Whitney blogs over at Modern Day Memory Keeper and hopes to inspire others to see the beauty in their every day life and record it. She makes mini books and custom scrapbooks in her shop when she’s not chasing after her twins or teaching little girls ballet. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram and be sure to follow her blog as she will be sharing how she documents this December.