Wednesday, December 23, 2015

My Not-So-Daily Holiday Album

Today on the Scraptastic Club blog, I'm sharing some pages from my holiday album-in-progress., using the Stocking Stuffer kit. Check out the post here. 

As in years past, I have accepted the fact that there is no way that I can keep up with the album on a daily basis (not without popping Xanax daily), so my approach has been less of a daily one and more of a not-so-daily one.
I've also decided not to sugar coat. I'm just going to tell it straight.  December is full of joy and wonder and excitement, but it is also full of stress and messiness and irritants. Within my album there are a heckuva lot of "happy, happy, joy, joy" moments documented, but there is also room for a little bit of Scrooge and a small helping of the Grinch. 
The goal, after all, is to capture a month in the life  -- that is, the life I am actually living, and not some Martha Stewart-fied or Rockwellian version of that life. 
That said, I do believe that a holiday album is a great way of cultivating the Christmas spirit. As I plan and put together each page, I become more mindful of the magic and the miracles that may not reveal themselves to us when we become preoccupied by the hustle and bustle of the season.
The most common question that I have been asked over the past two weeks is, "Are you ready for Christmas?" My response is always to exhale a "no" while laughing and shaking my head. As of today, it is still the answer, but in a way, this album has helped me to prepare for and to reflect upon the December days that pass by quickly. It helps to drive the days forward meaningfully. 
For instance, in the end-of-the-quarter and end-of-the-semester rush at school, I nearly forgot about the Feast of St. Nicholas, and my yearly tradition to hand out candy canes to my students on that day. It occurred to me, however, while working on the album on the weekend of December 6 (the Feast of St. Nicholas), that I hadn't yet added my annual candy cane page to the album. Whoops!  My remorse for nearly missing this most favorite of Advent days resulted in me stocking up on extra candy canes. On a near-daily basis for the duration of the quarter (and through final exam week), my students were treated to candy canes. They have the album to thank. 
My work/school life actually blends fairly frequently with my home life in the pages of this album. Christmas isn't just something that we celebrate at home -- the season is evident everywhere. 

Of course, my family is still front and center in the album, as they are what makes the holidays so special to me. 

I have lots of ideas for more pages -- but if they don't all make their way into the album, that's okay -- my not-so-daily approach allows me to roll with it. After all, what is more important than documenting the holidays is actually experiencing them! 

With that in mind, I'm off to decorate the tree! 

(And yes, I am aware that it is December 23. Thank the album for reminding me that a tree photo is missing). 

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