Monday, December 1, 2008

24 Days of December... by Heather

... documenting the everyday things that make our Christmas ...

I originally got the idea of using photos to document our Christmas traditions from Ali Edward's blog. She has developed a routine of creating a December Daily album each year. Ali's ideas are beautiful, but I knew that I needed to scale back my ambitious plans a bit this year, being great with (4th) child and all.

My plan for this year is to fill a simple 5x7 album with photos and text. I made my book out of some chipboard and scrapbook papers, but you can just as easily exercise that 40% off coupon at your local craft store.

This year, I will try to take pictures whenever we do a family activity. Some of these are spontaneous, but I also took the time to brainstorm some of the traditions that we usually observe.

For our family, the list looks like this:
*decorating tree
*lying under the tree looking up at the lights
*playing with the nativities (we have kid-friendly ones in our house)
*decorating gingerbread house
*making gingerbread cookies
*reading Christmas stories
*looking at lights
*Advent readings
*Christmas cards
*Charlie Brown Christmas special
*sparkling cider on Christmas eve

By brainstorming a bit, I know to have the old camera ready to go and capture what I can.

My next step is to use my photo editing software to type some text onto the pictures. This way, when I print my photos out at the local lab, the journaling will be already done! Since I'm using a 5x7 album, I'll still have some room around the 4x6 photos to add text if I need to.

I will also try and get some Christmas Scriptures typed up to intersperse through the album.
There are so many options with this idea. You could incorporate your Advent readings into your album, take photos of your children's artwork or wish lists. What about your favorite recipe or where you buy your tree? Do you have any special Christmas Eve services that you attend?
You could try different sizes or styles of albums. If you're not ready to do a "big" project, you could start with a 4x6 brag book. Just print your photos and slip in a piece of cardstock with a description opposite your photo.

For me, the goal is not to produce a magazine-ready product, but to have a tangible reminder each year of our Christmas and the meaning behind it.

I encourage you to "ponder these things in your heart" and document them for your families this Christmas!