Reviving a Past Tradition in a New Way

Alison Day
Alison Day

If you read Dani’s blog post from last week then you likely know what tradition I’m reviving this year. Yep, you guessed it, it’s my December Daily. Or as I like to call it, my December Daily(ish). LOL! 

As she also mentioned, this year looks VERY different from previous years. I don’t know what the world looks like from your corner of it, but in mine, our Provincial Health Officer has extended our current restrictions to January 8th. This basically means we will be celebrating with our little family of 5 only (6 if you count the dog – and he’s kind of hard to discount! LOL!). No one else is “allowed” over.

There will be no visits to any other family or friends homes.
There will be no taking in of the lights at a local botanical garden, or downtown, or a greenhouse in a nearby community. 
There are no Christmas Craft Markets or anything of the like.
There will be no visits to Santa – not that my girls are even into that sort of thing anymore.
There will be no New Year’s Eve games extravaganza at my brothers.

That’s a whole lot of no’s, am I right? I could let them get me down … but … I am choosing not to, and as a family, we are choosing to find ways to “make the most of it”. I filmed a video explaining all this but it is currently trapped on my computer in pieces. Technology, seriously! If and when I can get the bloody thing to export properly I’ll add it here. Suffice it to say that so far there has been a whole lot of baking, decorating, and present shopping. Things that don’t normally happen until much later. 

And I’ve made a start on the first December Daily since 2017! Take a look.

I have tried various forms of album for this project and by far my favourite format is this one. It’s a 6×8″ 2-ring binder style album from Simple Stories Snap line. They allow me to decorate the front and then have fun with the designs of the pocket pages within.
For products (which I show you in that video that is currently trapped in upload purgatory) I am using a combination of Shimelle’s Journal Your Christmas kit from 2018 (totally untouched, yikes!) and the one she posted via in 2019. I don’t think I purchased the entire kit last year but … who knows! It’s also untouched so this is clearly a project I NEEDED to come back to!

I like to start my albums with an introductory type page. This harkens back to Ali Edwards project I think, as a way of setting your intentions for the month. By writing down your intentions for the month you invite them in and actualize them. 

At least, that’s the theory and my deepest desire!

And then I jump right in … well, almost. See that orange sticky note? I will come back to that and add a list of activities we as a family would like to do over this month. And also, we want to focus on spreading some cheer to the many, many families that are hard hit right now – either because the holidays are always hard for them, or because this pandemic has left them alone and anxious. As you will see in the coming pages, my girls and I have been baking up a storm, and this weekend we will be delivering parcels of baked goods to certain families and organizations that we feel need some extra Christmas Cheer. 

We are very fortunate to be safe, healthy, and employed. As someone very important to me says, “to whom much is given, much is expected” and I feel the gravity of that message this year in particular. If my rum balls, shortbread, and ginger snaps can bring a modicum of joy to a stressed out nurse on a Covid ward, or a single mom trying to make the holidays special for her kids, then I consider that a job well done. 

I’ve always included real life moments in my albums along with all the fun Christmas themed activities and events we attend. This year I am choosing not to shy away from those moments. In fact, I choose to pause and appreciate them for what they are. 

The snuggles with Scout are a sign of both a change in our family, and a chance to rest and recover after a long shift at work.
The masks are a sign of the times! I don’t think anybody documenting life right now could get away with not showing anyone wearing a mask. These photos also show how my grocery shopping experience has changed over the past 9 months. Mandatory masks in every store. Arrows in all the aisle directing traffic. Circles on the floor showing you where to stand and how to stay distanced from those around you. If this project is to be a true reflection of my month, then I can’t hide these things.

One of the reasons I love this pocket page format is how flexible it is. I am not limited to one page per day. If I have more stories to tell, more photos I want to share, then I can just keep going. And because this is essentially MY story of December (my family are just the background characters – LOL!) I get to choose what I want to focus on. 

This particular day was a day that I specifically stopped to appreciate the sunrise. I say ‘specifically’ because I very clearly remember saying to myself “stop, take it in, this is gorgeous”. As part of my mandate for myself for December I want to appreciate the little things more. This is a little thing but it made a big impact on my day. I carried the memory of that sky with me all day. Usually we are rushing around right now and our calendars are packed with basketball tournaments, work, parties, dance and soccer practices, etc, etc, etc. The fact that we are not in a frenzy this year has to be acknowledged. That is one of my intentions with this album with year.c

And that is as far as I’ve gotten. Day 4. 

Looking through my phone I don’t have any photos from December 5th. I may look at my Instastories archives to see if I posted anything there but I may also just leave it. It was a Saturday. I’m fairly certain I spent most of the day running errands, making rum balls and Nanaimo bars before working a closing shift at Homesense. Does any of that NEED to be in my album to make it feel complete? Nope. 

What I’ve done to keep myself on track is print off the photos I want to showcase and tuck them into subsequent pockets. Then I added my numbers and a journaling card or two, if I came across something specific that I felt worked with the photos or the story I want to tell. That’s it! And I tell you all this in another video that I haven’t even been able to edit because of that first video that is all … stuck! Sigh. 

So here are my takeaways for you all:
1 – Do your filming WAY in advance of your post due date so all technical glitches have time to be sorted out. LOL! 
2 – Focus on what you HAVE, not what you’re MISSING this year. Embrace the small things. Celebrate more, earlier, and with intention.
3 – Use what you’ve got! I’m always saying to shop your stash before adding to it, and I’ll repeat that here. In this case I literally had the supplies in a box just waiting for me. Also, as you’ll hopefully see when I get that video up on the interwebs, these kits are a mix of Christmas themed products and non-themed products. Don’t be afraid from adding a bit of pink, unicorns, rockets, rainbows, or what have you, into your project. This is YOUR December Daily so if hearts and flowers speak to you, go for it! 
4 – This year is different. There is no point in denying it. So don’t! Embrace the difference and create a different December Daily. Try a new album size or style. Use photo sizes you don’t normally use. (As an aside, I’ve recently hopped on board the Project Life App bandwagon and I’ve got to say, it’s BRILLIANT for easily printing 2 3×4″ photos onto a 4×6″ paper as well as other sizes of small prints. If you haven’t checked it out yet, make that your December Goal.)
5 – Have fun with whatever way you document your memories this December. Goodness knows we all need more fun in our lives right now!
6 – Stay safe and healthy everyone. I look forward to sharing more thoughts and layouts with you in 2021.

Happy holidays everyone!

Hurray! It’s a Holiday Miracle! I managed to get one of my videos exported and uploaded to YouTube. Here it is and once the other one is also successfully ready for viewing, I will pop it just below. Happy viewing!

Share this post