The One with December DailyJan, 15 .  2018 Ahh, December Daily. It’s the project that I could never seem to get right. I have attempted this project 3 times in the past and failed miserably. Last year was the closest I got to completing it, and I only made it to December 15th. I was so determined to finish December Daily this year and boy did it pay off. If you’re not sure what December Daily is, please let me introduce you to this awesome human named Ali Edwards. She is the brainchild of this project and I feel like she can explain to you better than I can. Essentially, it’s a life documenting project where you tell 25 stories in the 25 days leading up to Christmas. I went a step further and actually documented the entire holiday season – Thanksgiving Day to New Year’s Eve. It’s my absolute favorite time of the year and I wanted to cherish those memories in years to come. Usually, people who do December Daily opt to do it in ring bound binders with a pocket scrapbooking style (you know, the ones with pocket page protectors and all that jazz). However, because I have been using a Traveler’s Notebook to document my year, I decided to break all the norms and use an old kraft insert I had lying around. Here are some tips and tricks that I’ve learned during this project. I hope that it helps you in any life documenting project you are attempting to tackle. TIP # 1: KEEP IT SIMPLE Toward the middle of the project (around Day 16), I started to get burnt out from almost daily scrapbooking. It was mainly because I put so much pressure on myself to have each page look perfect, artistic, and groundbreaking. I had to get myself out of that mindset. My goal was to finish the project because I knew that at the end of the day, the memories were more important to me. As much as I loved my more complicated and intricate spreads, I find the more simple ones just as beautiful. TIP #2 – DON’T USE ALL THE SUPPLIES I have yet to meet a scrapbooker that does not have a ton of supplies. Buy a ton, I mean enough supplies to last a life time. Buy a lifetime, I mean enough washi tape to go around the world a few times. Try to resist the temptation of using everything you have. It will hurt you in the end. Try to set aside a few bits and bobs in a small box and challenge yourself to use only what is in that box. Not only will it save you time, but it will also force you to be more creative with what you have. TIP #3 – EVERYDAY EPHEMERA ARE YOU BEST FRIENDS Collect all the little packaging, brochures, business cards and use it in your journals. Sometimes it seems a bit daunting to have large pieces of ephemera like a large empty candy bag or a giant map of the mall. Don’t be afraid to cut it down to a more manageable size. Save the parts of the packaging that seem visually appealing to you. Save the parts that will help you tell the story. TIP #4 – COME BACK TO IT The one challenge with doing a daily scrapbooking project in December is the lack of time. Sometimes, the day is so busy with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season that all you want to do when you get home is hit the sack. With days like those, I would send myself an email with tiny snippets of my day on my phone, just as I was about to drift into dreamland. It really helped jog my memory if I were to pick up on the project a couple days later when I had more free time to dedicate to the project. TIP #5 – FOCUS ON ONE STORY There are days that there is absolutely nothing going on. During these days, I focused on one story of the day. It could be as mundane as buying potatoes at the grocery market. It still counts as a story right? I mean, why did I need to buy JUST the potatoes? What were the potatoes for? Inquiring minds want to know! Overall, have fun with the project. Don’t take it too seriously. With all life documenting projects, the reward is when you look through these albums or books after being in hibernation for awhile. It always brings a smile to my face when a story I wrote or a picture I took jogs a happy memory as I look through my old books. Even reliving bad memories brings me joy in that, 9 times out of the 10, I’m in a better place than I was. If you would like an in depth look in my 2017 December Daily, feel free to check out my flip through. I hope this brings you inspiration with your own documenting projects.