two new holiday traditions : december daily and advent calendar

November 21, 2012

I know it’s just about time for Thanksgiving, but that means December and advent (my favorite) are right around the corner and I am already preparing for it. One of the fun things about starting your own family is figuring out what your holiday traditions are going to be. I’ve written before about what my family’s traditions were, and many of them are still intact, but now that we have a kid we are adding new ones. Here are a couple that I’m starting this year.

December Daily

One of the memory-keeping blogs I read is Ali Edwards. She has so many great ideas, and one of them is that every year she makes a December daily album with a photo a day focused on the holidays. I’ve been interested in making more minibooks, but at first I wasn’t sure if this project would be redundant for me since I’m doing Project Life. But once I thought about it, I realized it would be really nice to have because I can capture some of the details of the holidays that I might not otherwise, I wouldn’t feel the need to inundate my Project Life with holiday stuff, and I can display the completed books every year as seasonal decor.

In order to simplify things I wanted my album to be as ready as possible before December starts so that all I’ll have to do is print photos and add journaling & extras. Since I already had a pack of chipboard on hand I decided to make mine the same format as the Book of Lists. On the cover I repeated a stamp that says “December” for a patterned look.

I made a simple title page with a stamp, some gems, and handwritten text.

Then on the back inside cover I embossed “Noel.” I don’t do near enough embossing; it’s like magic.

For the bulk of the album I bought these digital files by Ali and printed them on cardstock. I plan to just adhere the photos to the backs of them so I have a 2-page spread per day, and I’ll add embellishment as I go. I’m definitely going to keep it simple since it’s my first year and I don’t want to get overwhelmed.

If everything goes as planned I’ll be sharing updates of the book with you throughout the month of December!

Advent Calendar

I love advent calendars and the feeling of anticipation they bring. I mean who doesn’t love a good countdown? But I especially love the kinds that are handmade and have you do something each day, whether it’s just adding a piece to a puzzle, filling in a picture, doing an activity, or hanging an ornament.

Several years ago I bought a kit from this shop to make my own advent calendar, but the problem was that I didn’t know how to sew and I didn’t have access to a machine. Well finally this year I made it happen! David’s grandma is letting me keep her machine and she recently came over to teach me to use it. I sewed a few practice lines but I really couldn’t wait much longer before digging in to the real project.

Here is what I came out with:

It was the perfect first sewing project because it has a rough unfinished look so my mistakes really aren’t that noticeable. The hardest part was just cutting the numbers out. But if you look closely you can see some wonky stuff going on. For example, the second pocket I sewed looks like this up close:

Yeah that’s not straight. :) But look! I got better!

The back isn’t great either and I’m thinking the bobbin might be a little loose…? (I am still learning this technical stuff.) But anyway I am now sort of obsessed with sewing. I think I am actually going to try my hand at a quilt pretty soon. It could spell disaster but I’ve gotta practice!

Back to the advent calendar though. Currently the pockets are empty, and this year I will probably just put chocolates in them. Next year, since Meredith will be old enough to sort of understand what’s going on, I am thinking I will either put mini ornaments in them for her own mini tree, or slips of paper with a family holiday activity. Or both!

What kinds of things do you do to document the holidays? Does your family have an advent calendar?

share and enjoy!

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Posted in: crafty, personal, holidays, crafty, paper, personal, crafty, sewing


Comments on two new holiday traditions : december daily and advent calendar

  1. 1

    From Nora:

    Can we please have a craft day together somehow? I find your creativity so inspiring and I LOVE the tree in the front of your December daily.

    Advent calendars are definitely part of our tradition, one that Knight and I both enjoy. We are feeling our way through new traditions and it’s fun to start them together. We have a lot of ideas on things we want to start doing as a couple/family so hopefully I’ll have some more to share as the holiday progresses.
    Nora recently posted..Thanks

  2. 2

    From kapachino:

    Oh my goodness if only we COULD have a craft day! Can’t wait to read about your & Knight’s first holiday as a married couple. :)

  3. 3

    From Allison @ With Faith & Grace:

    It was a tradition growing up to do the candy Advent calendars that you get from the grocery store. I loved it because I could get a little candy every day that was negligible on my blood sugars (they are just too small to do much). I have done it since high school, but I miss the tradition.
    Allison @ With Faith & Grace recently posted..Magical Kittens

  4. 4

    From Jill:

    Super cute ideas. I love the December daily – just might have to steal the idea for myself! It will be great to look back on over the years.
    Jill recently posted..Boo!

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