The year was 2006.
I’d been digital scrapbooking for just under a year and had just discovered Shimelle’s Journal your Christmas project. Everyday between December 1st and January 6th she would send you an email with a pretty PDF filled with ideas and inspiration for capturing one story of Christmas each day.
I remember distinctly sitting in the airport in Seoul, South Korea waiting for my flight back home after a year abroad and reading through all the prompts on my dying laptop. I was hooked. I couldn’t wait to get home and start my album.
Would you like to guess how many pages I completed that year?
Fast forward to 2007. I knew this would be the year I’d complete Journal Your Christmas. I’d create my album digitally using the same simple template for each page. One story a day, simple, easy. How could I fail right?
Number of pages completed and printed?
In 2008, I discovered Ali Edward’s December Daily. Oh the gloriousness that is Ali’s December Daily! I loved the mini album format. I loved the way she mixed pages. I love that she captured a mix of Christmas and everyday life.
One story a day – how hard could it be?
At that point, I had never done paper scrapbooking before but I figured, hey why not give it shot?
I decided to follow Ali’s advice to complete the foundation of the album ahead of time so I headed to our local Archivers, spent way to much money and got to work creating my foundation pages.
That year went much better.
Starting the foundation ahead of time was key and I made it all the way to December 17th. Success!
But then we traveled home for the holidays and by the time we returned in January, I’d lost steam. Wah-wah.
In 2009, Adam was deployed to Afghanistan and well, Christmas just didn’t have that sparkly glow it usually did so I decided to skip it.
But in 2010, I decided to try again. This time I went into it fully prepared. I’d made it pretty far before so I knew what I had to do to get it done. And most of all, this year for the first time ever, we wouldn’t be traveling for Christmas. I knew of any year this would be the year: the year I would finish my December Daily album.
I made it to December 16th.
By this point I was starting to get discouraged. Was there something wrong with me? I loved the idea of these holiday albums and I LOVED the pages I created for them.
But as much as I loved these albums, there was clearly something about the process that wasn’t working for me.
And I was tired of wasting hard-earned money and time on them, only to be left with an unfinished album and a healthy dose of scrapbooker’s guilt to kick off the new year.
So not my idea of a good time.
So in 2011, I decided it was time for a change and to begin, I wrote out a list of what I loved and didn’t love about my previous holiday albums. This was my list:
WHAT I LOVED:
- COLLECTING MEMORABILIA – I LOVED picking up bits & pieces of life throughout the season knowing I already had a home for them.
- MINI ALBUM – I loved the small mini album size and I especially loved being able to flip through the pages everyday.
- PHOTOS – I loved printing photos at home to include in my album right away.
WHAT I DIDN’T LOVE:
- THE DAILY-NESS – As much as I love the concept, I realized that a page a day was WAY too much work for me. I wanted to be able to skip a day and not feel guilty or even close the album on the 26th and call it done.
- MIXED SIZED PAGES – While I loved the look of the pages showing behind each other, the mish-mash of sizes made it too complicated to put together each day.
- THE COST – Paper supplies are expensive. Plus it made me a little sad to see all the beautiful digi kits out there and not have a reason to use them.
- NOT AS TRAVEL FRIENDLY – Living so far from family we often traveled for Christmas which meant I needed an album I could easily take with me on the go.
- THE GUILT – I wanted an album that once Christmas rolled around I could call done without there being obvious gaps in the album to make me feel guilty about it.
While all this holiday scrapbooking craziness was happening, I had also been steadily working on another project of mine: the Monthly Faves. Started in 2009 and then repeated in 2011, the goal of the Monthly Faves was to capture a list of my top ten favorite things each month for a year. It was the only year-long project I’d ever completed successfully – and I’d done so twice.
So I had an idea: what if I combined a holiday mini album with the faves?
Instead of focusing on capturing a story a day until Christmas like I’d done before, my goal would be to capture my top ten favorite things from the holiday season.
If I made it to ten, awesome! If I made it to eight or five or even three, I’d be ok with closing the album after December 25th and calling it done, guilt-free.
To keep things simple, I’d create my own set of mini album templates and use my favorite digital scrapbooking supplies to create the foundation of my album. Then all I’d have to do during the busy holiday season is add photos and journaling and I’d be good to go.
To my surprise, it worked.
In 2011, I captured all ten holiday faves.
In 2012, I captured all ten holiday faves.
In 2013…I didn’t. BUT, in my defense, last year I was in the first trimester of my pregnancy, physically exhausted and creatively drained, and I made the executive decision after creating and printing my foundation pages to just let it go for the year.
2 out of 3 sure beats 0 for 4 in my book.
Ultimately what I’ve learned from this whole crazy holiday scrapbooking adventure is this: just because you LOVE a project doesn’t mean it’s right for you, and that’s perfectly ok! That isn’t a sign to give up. It’s a sign to take what you love (and don’t love!) and tweak it to make it work for you.
For me, that’s Holiday Faves. And if, like me, you love the idea of creating a holiday mini album but are need of something a bit more easy and doable than what you’ve tried in the past, I have the confidence Holiday Faves is the right solution for you too.
On Monday, November 24th, I’ll be opening registration for the 2014 edition of Holiday Faves.
This year in addition to an exclusive set of mini album templates designed by me, you’ll also receive a Holiday Faves planning guide, weekly emails from me with words of encouragement and access to a private Facebook group where you can connect with other Holiday Favers and share your work.
Interested in scrapbooking your Holiday Faves? Join me and almost thirty other awesome scrapbookers as part of the Holiday Faves 2014 6×8 Mini Album & Project Class. Early bird pricing of only $20 is available through Black Friday, November 28th. Class begins Dec 1st and registration ends Dec 8th. Find out more here.