In this post I shared how I brought our December journal together. Now that we are about half way through the 25 days (how can that be???) I want to share how the pages are coming together and a little more background on how we pull this tradition together every year.
With the base pages completed in November it has been easy to document our daily fun. I decided to print the photos out as 2×3’s and through my photo management software (Aperture) it is as easy as hitting print. To save on photo paper I print two days at a time, 2-2×3 photos printed on 4×6 matte photo paper.
With the photos printed it was time to decide how to add them to the pages. At first I printed them with a white border, but it was too stark when placed on the rustic page so I cut off the white and decided to mount the photos on those leftover craft paper scraps.
After adding the photos I decided to go over them with a bit of the white paint used on the page base to help tie it all together. A simple design, but it will be a book filled with so many fun memories.
I wanted to share a bit about how we pick our 25 activities and incorporate them into our regularly scheduled lives. Over Thanksgiving weekend the three of us sit down (usually over a yummy breakfast) and start throwing out ideas for the list. We each get one veto, a no questions asked chance to say no to an item on the list. While our discussions over what to do and what not to do can get lively we usually make the list fast and without too much pain.
Some activities are the same every year. The 17th is Kelsey (our dog) Day because years ago when our sweet girl was a puppy she ate box #17. We never replaced the box, instead we decided to make that a day to spoil the dog. The 24th is reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas from a beautifully illustrated children’s book that we have had for years. Usually this reading happens with a big group of family down at our neighborhood tree in the city. Occasionally as the kids read, they will get an audience of people walking through the square. The 25th is a time for reflection. Each of us writes a letter to our future selves which we will read the following year on the 25th. These are private letters so I don’t know what the rest of my family writes, but I write to future Jackie about what I hope the year ahead will hold. I really enjoy opening the letter from the year before to see how the hope for the year compares with actual events.
The rest of the boxes are randomly filled with activities from our list except for two or three that I will place specific activities in because they are tied to an actual date such as when we have tickets for a show.
So what happens when life gets in the way of our activity? We move things around or get creative. This is not meant to be stressful tradition and I am all about breaking rules, so we just go with the flow. Already this year we have adjusted due to illness and weather. No biggie, we either amend the activity or swap it with another day. For the most part though, the activities go as planned and just add a little extra fun to our regular day.
I will share one last update on our journal when the book is complete.