Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Memories

I wanted to create a Christmas Memories Journal to keep track of pictures, recipes, and traditions that we form around Christmas but I wanted the Journal to be large enough to accommodate every Christmas.  I ordered a ton of scrap-booking supplies.  Once all of the supplies I ordered came in, I started working on the cover.  I wanted something simple because our journal will be used for the duration of our lives, and I don't want to get sick of it.  I was going for a classic, timeless look.

What do you think?!  It was very easy.  I used two different types of scrapbook paper, a few embellishments and buttons, and mod podge.  To give the book some depth, I krazy-glued down a tiny picture frame that I've had for about 7 years and had yet to use it.  I love it because the frame was not a Christmas frame...but it kind of looks like poinsettias, doesn't it?!  I wrote in the journal's title by hand.  After all, this is a JOURNAL and most of the information in this special book will be handwritten.  I wanted it to have a special, warm feel to it.  I normally would not want to title a book in my handwriting, but I found it appropriate here.

I'd love if you leave me a link showing me your very own cover!  :)  Every Christmas book I've ever seen looks so different!  It's fun to see all of the variety.

After I finished on the cover, I cracked open the book and got to work!  I hated how plain the inside of the cover was.  It was just plain white.  Normal, not festive.

 I cut shapes out of magazines and traced them onto scrapbook paper.  I cut them all out by hand while lusting over buying a Cricut (haha).  Then, I used my scrapbook paper cutter to slice a piece of paper into thin strips to look like string.  I mod-podged my "ornaments" to the inside of the cover, and went over it with about 4 or 5 coats of pod podge to keep everything secure.  How 'bout that?!

My next step was to start working on the actually journal, silly rabbit.  :)  I came up with a plan.  I decided that our first year would have 3 pages of space, but each year after that will only have two.  I needed room to talk about what happened last Christmas AND this Christmas, so a little extra space was required to fit everything in.

Below is the first page of our journal!  :)  I ordered some solid green stationary, wrote in the card what happened between us last Christmas, put it in the envelope, and glued the envelope down to the scrapbook paper.  :)  I like this idea because it will really help save space, while still acting as a journal and looking pretty.

I wanted to be able to distinguish between the "years" like Chapters, but I wasn't sure how to do that...my biggest fear was our book turning out tacky & disorganized-looking.  I played around with a few different ideas before finally deciding to use one scrapbook paper pattern for each year.  So...it's 2011 and all three pages for this year's Christmas entry will be on the same scrapbook paper.  Next year's two page entry will have two of the same scrapbook papers, and so on.  The pages themselves will be embellished differently, but they will have the same backdrop.  Does that makes sense?  I hope so!  :)

 These two "Merry Christmas" pages the pages we will be using for this year!  :)   

And these are two other types of paper that we will use as we get to them!     

I also decided that each "year" would get room for 12 pictures.  At the end of each "year", there is a 12 x 12 page that has spaces for 6- 4 x 6 pictures.  See below:

I am very excited that this project has finally started!  I've had a lot of fun adding a little bit to it every day.  For those of you interested in doing this on your own (it is a great alternative to buying a journal that may not give you as much freedom as you'd like!) these are the questions I'll work on answering each Christmas season:

For our first year of journal-ling, the first questions is "How did we spend last Christmas?".  the rest of the questions will be the same every year.
  • What is the first thing that put us in the Christmas Spirit this year?
  • Where is home?
  • What has happened since last Christmas?
  • Did we send out a Christmas card?
    • If so, include an extra card
    • How much did one stamp cost?
    • Who took the picture or where we get the cards from?
  • When did we decorate for Christmas? 
    • When did we start?
    • When did we finish?
    • What songs did we listen to?
    • Who did what?
    • Did we use a theme idea?
    • Include a picture of the tree
    • What new or special Christmas ornaments do we have?
  • Did we go looking at Christmas lights?
    • If so, where did we go?
    • Did we go with anyone else?
    • How much did it cost?
  • Did we see any Christmas shows?
    • If so, include the ticket stubs!  (This means picking up your tickets at will-call, not printing them out at home!)
    • How much did it cost?
    • Did we go with anyone else?
    • Describe the show.
  • What Christmas movies did we watch?
  • What was the weather like for the month of December?
  • How did we celebrate with our families and the people we love?
    • How did we spend Christmas Eve?
    • How did we spend Christmas Morning?
      • what time did we start?
      • what did we eat for breakfast?
      • what gifts did we give each other?
      • What was the weather like?
    • How did we spend Christmas Day?
  • How did we recognize Christmas as Jesus' birthday?
  • What pets did we have this Christmas?
  • Did anything bad or funny happen?  (These stories will be hilarious some day!)
  • What new Christmas song came out this year?
  • When did we take the Christmas tree down?
  • What do we want to do differently next year?
I want to make sure that we cover EVERYTHING...and that years down the road, we can look back and recall exactly what happened Christmas 20XX.  What do you think about the ideas I have so far?  Do you have any suggestions or questions I could add to my list?  

For those of you who have been married for a while...if you could go back and start keeping track from the very beginning of your marriage or relationship, what things do you WISH you had remembered or kept track of?  

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