Journal Your Christmas

For a few years now, I've watched many of my online scrapping pals take part in Shimelle Laine's Journal Your Christmas class.  I've always loved the idea of it.  It works like this:  once you pay for and sign up for the class, Shimelle will email you daily prompts for each day in December and a few in January.  Based on what you prefer, you can either write a simple journal entry, create a scrapbook page, write a blog post, etc. based on that day's prompt.  And, after you sign up once, you can keep coming back, year after year to receive Shimelle's prompts and the digital and printable goodies she provides.  It was a hard project for me to ignore. 

Most participants that I know did scrapbook pages, which were heavy on journaling.  Since I feel that scrapbook pages are the most complete when they have both photos and the story, I was drawn to this project.  I just wasn't sure I could commit to doing an entry everyday.  It seemed overwhelming.  Taking care of my kids and adjusting to motherhood was enough at that time, so I drooled over my friends pages and lived vicariously through their layouts. 

Last Christmas, things with my clan of small rug rats were starting to settle down enough where I could maybe consider a project like this.  And, since I'd already jumped into digital scrapbooking, I knew 2010 would be the year for me to try my hand at Journal Your Christmas.  I went and browsed over my friends blogs and message board posts, and saw that many of those who succeeded in completing their Christmas albums made up their pages for each day of the month of December ahead of time.  

Even though I was skeptical and nervous about the idea of doing a page for each day, I decided I would remember that it wasn't about pressure, it was about documenting the things that made the holiday my favorite.  It's about throwing the stress of the season out the window and enjoying Christmas again. 

With that in mind, I spent the last half of November creating my base pages, that I would eventually add my words and photos to.  It felt good to knock the pages out and have them ready to go before Journal Your Christmas started.  When December did roll around, I was able to enjoy journaling each day's entry, and adding in photos when I wanted to.  If I didn't want to, that was fine, too.  The end result was a Christmas album that I love, and that my kids have asked to look at several times since it came back from Shutterfly.  The two pages I posted the top of this entry are a couple of my favorites.  You can see the rest of album: here.

So, with the good experience I had last year under my belt, I decided to go ahead and try it again this year.  While some bloggers are posting their entries each day, I've decided to post a week's worth of entries here.  There were three days worth of entries for this first week, so here are my pages so far:

I made the choice to stick with a very simple page design, since I knew I could work on the base pages here and there when I had time. I didn't want it to be complicated or worry about heavily embellished pages.  This allowed me to get my pages done within about a week, and I could relax and enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday.

I used Ali Edwards' 31 Days Overlays, which you can find over at Designer Digitals.  I chose these over the ones Ali made up for this year, because these overlays are customizable and can be made to work with any year, not just the current one. And, the kit has bonus templates that work with the overlays, so that made it even easier to complete the base pages.  The next trick was choosing a couple of digital Christmas kits so that I could plop in paper and elements in the slots provided in the templates.  I chose two holiday kits by Jen Martakis, Holly Jolly Christmas and Holiday Story to jazz up my pages.  I love how everything is coming together so far.  

I'll be back soon with more pages from this project.  I hope you are enjoying the holiday season so far!


  1. I love your album from last year, and this years as well so far! I love the look of digital, and after seeing yours along with some of the other gals in the class, I may go digital next year!

  2. Love that you're doing it this year, too! This'll make year #6 for me ... and it's going to be fun! :) I love your digi-style & am glad you have found a way to capture your family's traditions!

  3. Love that you found a way to make it work for you. Thanks for sharing your pages - they are great.

  4. You have made such a fine start. I love that you are committed to real, in depth journaling.