Monday, October 12, 2015

The December Daily Reality Check 2015

The December Daily Reality Check 2015 with My Scrapbook Evolution

It would seem that it is time for the annual December Daily madness. Once again, pictures of enticing kits filled with holiday scrapbook supplies hit our inboxes. Inevitably, someone always posts some variation of the same questions in a scrapbook forum or group:

Should I or shouldn't I attempt a December Daily?
Has anyone ever successfully completed one? If so, what was your creative process?
Which kit should I buy?

I could say that I am tired of hearing those questions, but my attention is always piqued. I read on, curious about what others have answered and I end up asking myself if this will be the year that I "officially" make a December Daily. This year, the answer was almost yes. Almost.

What was it that made me almost say yes this year?

Namely, a large part of that answer has to do with our big move to the UAE. I know we will have a lot of new adventures this year along with a new apartment to decorate. The holidays won't feel the same as they have always been (especially after 9 years in the Bahamas). I have been considering whether or not I want to try a new way to document them. Now the question popped into me head concerning what supplies I would use.

 As I packed up my scrapbook stash, I came across two large (and quite overstuffed) bags of holiday supplies. Some of those supplies had been in my stash for over a decade. It's true that most Christmas supplies are timeless. I have told myself I won't buy more until I use them all up (I am very budget conscious). Inevitably, I end up with a few new bits and pieces courtesy of my monthly kit club subscription (which I then tend to use first) and the rest of the supplies in the bag just sit there.

When you have to spend a lot of money to move something halfway around the world, you have a tendency to really consider its worth to you.Looking at those bags, I felt a sense of guilt over the amount of supplies I had stuffed into them. I felt like I HAD to use them. I realized that keeping them was, in essence, an attempt at making me use them up. Let me say that again to be clear. I WAS MAKING MYSELF USE THEM.

So what's bad about that? What's bad about using supplies that you spent good money on? Nothing! Except that, in a way, the act of forcing myself to use them was now making those same supplies unappealing. In a lot of ways, choosing to hang onto those bags of Christmas Scrapbook supplies had dampened my creative spirit when it came to scrapbooking the holidays. In fact, I found that, in some cases, I was avoiding certain layouts altogether because I didn't want to look through those supplies. That stash of Christmas paper no longer held much value for me because I resented it.Resenting scrapbook supplies sounds a bit harsh and quite a bit ridiculous, but well, there you have it. I did indeed resent the products in those bags and how I felt about them was preventing me from being creative.

What should be done with scrapbook supplies that were no longer appealing?

I needed to place some sort of value on my Christmas Stash in order to make them usable once again. I pulled out all of the supplies, sorting them by brand and type into piles and began an assessment.You can do this too (even if you aren't making an international move). Sort your piles by a method that makes sense to you.

The first step is to gather any supplies that have already been used on a previous layout. Many times in the past (from both kits and collections) I have ended up with duplicate sheets of paper. Sometimes I don't mind that as I truly love the design. Other times, I find that once I have used that print, I feel less inclined to use it again. If you feel the same inclination, take these pieces out of the main pile and set them aside.

Next, go through the supply pile and select anything you no longer love. Set these aside as well. Once you are done,go through the pile for a third time. This time, you are looking to identify supplies with patterns or colors that are similar to recent Christmas products that you have seen for sale within the last year.This leaves behind products that fall into a maybe category.

Now comes the hard part...the moment in which you let go of some your supplies. I confess that this was a hard step for me. The big trick was quite simply to view those supplies in any form other than "the stuff I spent money on and have to use." I first dealt with supplies from the duplicates pile and the product I no longer love pile by combining them into one. This big pile received a new name. I dubbed it "product for donation".

 I got a box of large zip loc bags and I began making craft kits from those piles. We have a local charity which has craft classes for kids and also a shop through which they make money to help out the community. As I made the kits, I imagined the products inside them being used by happy children or being sold in the store. The act of making the kits was great motivation for me to donate them rather than just tossing them into a box (which felt like throwing money out the door). This shift in thought gave a new sense of value to the products. I can tell you that it felt great to donate them.

Now that you have culled your supplies a bit, it will be easier to handle what's left. Whether you buy a new Christmas collection this year or purchase a December Daily kit, you should be able to easily add in some (hopefully quite a bit) of the items that are similar to recent Christmas kit releases. It is probably best for you to look through this pile prior to purchasing any new products. You can get a feel for what color or style of kit you might want to buy. In some cases, an older item may be so similar to something new that it can serve as a replacement thus allowing you to stretch what you have to spend farther.Take anything out of your cart that can be replaced by an old item in your stash.

The "maybe" pile will be the most difficult to deal with. It took me three passes to decide on which items made the cut and which didn't. For anything that you decide not to keep, sort it into the donation kit bags. If you remain unsure, place the maybe items into a bag all of their own. Unless you have a big move coming up, you don't have to get rid of it right away.

Should I buy a December Daily Kit or should I make my own?

 Personally, I always struggle with the cost of the December Daily kits and the massive amount of holiday supplies in them. I know I will never use it all (even if I successfully complete December Daily). After packing and sorting my supplies for donation, I have come to the conclusion that I don't desire to overbuy supplies any more. I saved a small amount of Holiday supplies to take with me on the move. I am hoping my kit club (I am a Cocoa Daisy Subscriber) will offer  some holiday themed items in December. I am also hoping that Traci Reed Designs will come up with a new digital kit from which I can make some Holiday layouts.

Just typing that last paragraph  makes me realize I might be swimming in more supplies than I could use. Try writing down what supplies you have and what you think you might want or need. Think about how many layouts you made last year (whether pocket pages, 12x12 or mini albums) and consider which supplies might be used. You don't need an exact plan, but having a rough idea can help you succeed in documenting your own December Story. Be realistic. Can you really bake dozens of cookies and then sit down and make the page about it the same week? Are going to try to keep up? Are you really going to have the time to pre-make layouts or would you be better off waiting to finish your December pages until after the holidays? Being honest with yourself about what you can accomplish will prevent you from feeling guilty for starting a project you can't keep up with.

So what is my plan?

Keeping it simple is the best approach. My album will consist of my usual mix of 12x12 scrapbook layouts and pocket pages. I will focus my attention on being a part of the events rather than on just documenting them. I give myself permission to scrapbook about the holidays after it all happens.

A few years back, I wrote about my take on December Daily. I had a simple game plan and I did end up making a lot of great holiday pages.I successfully participated in Your December Story with Get It Scrapped. In 2014, I replicated the game plan and added in a few of the prompts from Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas Class.These classes will once again serve as my main source of inspiration for my December Pages.

 I haven't scrapbooked all of the Christmas photos, however, I guess you could say that overall I am very happy with the way I document our family Christmas and the month of December. Assessing how I use those holiday scrapbook supplies has also helped to realize what my personal hang ups are. Now that I know, I have solved my problem and can move forward with ease.

Follow My Scrapbook Evolution 's board Holidays-Journal Your Christmas Inspiration on Pinterest. Follow My Scrapbook Evolution 's board Holiday-Christmas on Pinterest.


  1. I've completed on DD. I made my own album from a YouTube tutorial and used a couple of collections to have some continuity, but you certainly don't have to. I really quite enjoyed the process. In my case it's hard because I don't have kids at home and I really don't do things like a ton of baking and whatnot. In fact, my DIL was just looking at it last night. It was her first Christmas with my son and when their cat came into their lives and it was all documented right there.

    1. It's pretty awesome that you did one. I think it does get harder as kids get older to feel like there is something to document. I don't bake a ton or do a lot of activities. I let the pressure of doing one go a long time ago, but I think there are some people who still feel that pressure. I am going to go check out your tutorial.

  2. What an awesome and timely article!! Timely especially for me as I delve through my holiday photos from years past. I plan to do my own thing with my Holiday Memories, not really a DD, but an ongoing album that reflects the traditions my family has. Another thing I am doing is combining kits - I have a plethora of Christmas kits (digital) and and will make 2page spreads with each kit, a traditional style on 1 side and a pocket style on the other. That's as much continuity as I can albums don't have to be all matchy-matchy.

    You have given me a lot to consider as I tackle this and I thank you!

    1. Thank you, Vanessa! An ongoing album is a great way to document your holiday memories. As far as photos, I sometimes like to jump around and scrapbook different years. I store the layout chronologically but I sure don't scrapbook that way.