Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

October 26, 2009

December Daily 2009 : Step One • Gather Your Materials


Yes, it really is getting to be that time of year again soon.
And yes, I know that we haven't even hit Halloween yet.
And yes, what you see here in my office is my December Daily pile.
And yes, that's my progress so far. 


You are invited to join me in what has become a favorite holiday tradition: December Daily

December Daily is an album project that documents the 25 days leading up to Christmas. Many people start their documentation earlier and many people go longer. I have found that 25 days is just right for me. 

One of the keys to success in this project is getting an album structure set-up in advance of December so that during December you can enjoy the season & enjoy the process of documenting your days without having to be putting the entire thing together at the same time. It is not meant to be stressful. It is meant to be a way to creatively celebrate the season and document you special holiday memories in one album. 

If this is your first time reading about December Daily I highly recommend you read my 2008 welcome post. It will give you a run-down of the basics and give you a better understanding of what's happening. There's also a Question & Answer post that my clarify things for you even more. 

For the rest of you, let's get started!

Easy enough. Get all your holiday stuff in one location. Having it all in one spot and accessible makes the entire process that much easier. As you can see from my photo above I have it all in one place just not really in any order. My organizing for this project is usually just a box or basket – judging from the photo I might need a bigger box. 

While you are gathering your supplies it's also a good opportunity to purge things you might be ready to pass along to someone else (think school, church, retirement home, shelter, etc). 

Here's a look at my album before any December documentation was added last year: December Daily 2008. As soon as I have the bare bones structure for this year I will post it. Working on it a little bit at a time right now. 
There are so many different ways to approach this project:

  • Some people make it a game to use what they have on hand (all those years of stocking up on holiday products and then making one layout is paying off). If this is you, your goal over the next week is to get all your stuff in one place. 
  • Some people mix old products with new products (this is me). 
  • Some people do all digital albums. 
  • Some people do a mixture of digital and paper (this is me too)
  • Some people do big albums and some people do really small ones. 

You're also invited to join the 2009 Flickr group which can be accessed here: December Daily 2009

A couple other things to note: 

  • Katie Pertiet has a great digital album coming out this weekend at Designer Digitals if you are looking to do all digital this year. 
  • Cocoa Daisy will have a December Daily kit available on November 1. I coordinated products that I have been collecting with Tricia, including the Prima fabric album I will be using as my base. 

I'm here to encourage, celebrate and cheer you on along the way. I can't wait to see how mine turns out – I'm trying a couple different things this year (including incorporating some fabric for my cover) and still trying to keep it simple overall.

It's totally possible that you are already making this more complicated than it needs to be in your head. Take a deep breath and do one little thing at a time. 


  • 1.

    I am so glad that it is this time a year again! I have all my christmas supplies ready in a box and can’t wait to go through them!

  • 2.
    Nicky from Canada said…

    Can’t wait to start – my base is ready to go and have a bin full of goodies to add as I go. I was even given a photo printer this year, so I am hoping it will actually be a daily thing and not a weekend thing (so hard to fit everything in on the weekends – especially that time of the year)
    Can’t wait to see your project.
    Thanks Ali for helping us along with this project.
    Have a great monday.

  • 3.
    Stephanie H said…

    okay this:
    “It’s totally possible that you are already making this more complicated than it needs to be in your head. Take a deep breath and do one little thing at a time”
    totally made me giggle. I think I need to print that out and post it on the fridge for a constant reminder for life in general.
    My 2009 daily is mostly ready to go because I started making an album for 2008 and then got slammed with horrible morning sickness and missed most of the Christmas season.

  • 4.
    Jolande said…

    Last year was the first time I made a DD and I absolutely loved it. So 2 weeks ago I was in the mood and I made one for this year.
    I used things I already had and choose for the colors white and silver. Looking foreward to work on it.
    Thank you so much for this lovely idea.
    Greetings from Jolande

  • 5.
    robyn said…

    i’m definitely participating this year, but all digital. i’m just going to blog my December Daily right on my blog (actually, on a special space i’ve got set up just for December Daily stuff) and then when January comes I’ll be ordering a book from Blurb – easy peasy, and a great way for a dabbler like me to get into the habit of documenting the dailies a little better.

  • 6.
    RachelM said…

    I’m looking forward to taking part! :)

  • 7.
    Julie H. said…

    I’ve just ordered my new stuff to go with my old stuff. I think it’s funny that you’re going to use the Prima Fabric Book. I had my options narrowed down to that and the Making Memories Mistletoe Felt Book. I only chose the MM felt book because I didn’t like that the Fabric book has to be tied together. I just wanted to stop by and say that I thought it was a funny coincidence. Loved making it last year, maybe I’ll have the guts to join the Flickr group this year…

  • 8.
    Laura said…

    I can’t wait!!! We did one last year & it was so much fun!!! We actually called ours our “Advent Album” and began with the day after Thanksgiving as that’s when we take a train ride to a neighboring town to see the lighting of the community Christmas tree – this we consider the “official start” of our Family’s Christmas Season.

  • 9.
    abbey said…

    This will be my first year actually doing this. I bought a book from evalicious sometime mid-December last year and am excited to actually do the project this year. That closing quote is key!

  • 10.
    elisa said…

    YES! i am so excited! already started gathering supplies!

  • 11.
    debbi g, said…

    I’m in!! I started collecting last year with the intention of doing it this year and now is the perfect time. Thanks for this idea Ali.

  • 12.
    Kerry Trujillo said…

    I’m so excited Ali! Thank you for that end reminder. I love to make it more complicated before I even start. Thanks so much for all the time and effort you put into this project.

  • 13.
    Stephanie said…

    Ooh! I am so excited and actually started pulling my supplies together over the weekend. I really want to get a head start this year and set myself up for success. I’ve been doing Shimelle’s Journal Your Christmas for the past few years and plan to follow most of her themes again this year but I’m not going to put pressure on using the themes on a set date or even using a theme at all if it doesn’t strike me. I am going to make my own album this year instead of using a pre-made album and I am going to limit my use of products. I’m going to let the photos and stories take precedence this year & I can’t wait!!

  • 14.
    Patricia said…

    So excited it’s that time of the year again!! I’ve been collecting since January :o )
    Can hardly wait to see your ideas for this year. Thanks so much for sharing your creativity with us!! Blessings to you & your family!! Patricia

  • 15.
    Jessica Herling said…

    :) I am ecstatic to begin this project! Last year I watched vowing this year I would do it!

  • 16.
    Emiliy said…

    I’m so excited to be beginning this project and even more so because my book is already ready… I started it last year but never completed it so I have the bare bones already put together. YEAH! As always Ali you are such a creative inspiration. Enjoy the season.

  • 17.
    Tammy Mellish said…

    I have to confess that I still have some tidying to do in last years December Daily (because I got started late on it and I really haven’t been able to make crafting a part of my everyday life anymore.. I’ve got to figure that out, because it’s important to me). It got put away not long after the holidays and there it sat. Finishing that up is a priority (so that we can enjoy it this holiday season). Having said that! I just spent 18 hours over the last day and a half preparing this years Daily! I am actually heading to a papercrafting retreat in November and I wanted to offer these little books I made in a kit. It was a good way to get me on schedule. I’m pretty happy with the way they are turning out! Thank you for the inspiration and for encouraging memory building amongst families!

  • 18.
    dana j said…

    Ali – I’m so excited!! I already DID my december daily! I went to a crop Early September and knocked it out! I am BEYOND excited. I really wanted to do it last year but time got away so I was DETERMINED to be ahead of the schedule! Thanks for the inspiration you provide!

  • 19.
    amy said…

    I’m so excited, I am way more organized this year and i’m almost done with the shell of my book, just adding the remaining numbers… i can’t wait! i love this project. Thanks Ali.

  • 20.
    mel said…

    Yay, so exited that you posted this today. Like many others I have been eargely waiting for you to kick us off. I have supplies gathered and have been pondering the cover alone for about three days, so thanks for saying relax with it. You are such an inspiration.

  • 21.
    Lexi said…

    Made my album last yr and only did like the first 4 days! But no worries. I’m just gonna keep those 4 days and add 4 new ones this ye and go with the flow, hoping I finish this yr, but if not there’s always next yr! I feel the important thing is that I’m trying and whatever memories I DO capture will still be fun to reminisce about in yrs to come, even if I don’t get the whole 25 days :)

  • 22.
    Diana said…

    woohoo! I’m excited about this! This year I’m actually ahead of the game! I have my album already! Thanks Ali!

  • 23.
    Deb from Traverse City Michigan said…

    Last year I decided to make it as I went. Guess what . . .Yes, you are correct. I didn’t complete the album. Did I learn from my mistake? Yes I did. I be starting 2009 this week. Thanks for keeping me on track.

  • 24.
    Amy said…

    Hi Ali,
    Can’t wait to start the December Daily album but I still need to work on my Week in the Life Album! I remember you posting info that told how to alter the Week in the Life overlays so that journaling and photos could be moved around per page. Can you tell me where I can find that again?
    Thanks so much for all the help and inspiration!

  • 25.
    Linda said…

    Ali–I won’t be participating this year as we are going to FL from the Northwest for 12 days in Dec and I know I won’t have time. but I want you to know I mad a Wedding book called The Wedding details–documenting the journey. I mae it in Spring when we found out my daughter was getting married in Feb. I have been adding all of the fun details of planning the wedding as we go. I am using a lot of your DD overlays in it and have made all kinds of fun pages out of different materials. Just wanted you to know that December Daily has soooo many applications. I love that my book is all done and I just add things as we plan. you are the best Ali!

  • 26.
    Jill said…

    My supplies are ready and waiting. . . working on the first pages of my base this week. My new idea with this is to go from November 25 (my birthday) to December 25. In most years Thanksgiving (hands-down, my favorite holiday) will be included as well. Last year I tried Dec 1-31, and really lost momentum after Dec 25. Hopefully 25 to 25 will be a magical and creative amount of time! Can’t wait to see what sprouts up on the flickr group.

  • 27.
    Molly Irwin said…

    Hurrah! So excited. Keeping my book simple again this year, as we are traveling.

  • 28.
    Staci said…

    YEAH! My Mom and I are working on ours together! This is our first year to do it! We are both excited! I got my cover done this past weekend and I am thinking of ideas for pages, what fun and thank you so much for such a wonderful idea! Have a ceative week!

  • 29.

    I’m sad but, I think i’ll be too busy for? I may end up with a journal however. That would be fun too :) Oh! I did a week in the life and I actually finished it!!! YES! If you would like to see it..
    Thanks for all the inspiration Ali :)

  • 30.
    Chris H. said…

    I wasn’t going to do this in 09, but I think I just got inspired.
    I think I’m going to digital/regular. My goal is to get more comfortable with PSE and Copics through a set project.
    Could you post a link to katie pertiet’s kit…I can’t seem to find it and didn’t know what it was called?
    Thanks Ali!

  • 31.
    Loretta Artful Yogi said…

    Yay. I began gathering this past week. My pile looks similar to yours.

  • 32.
    Jessica said…

    I am SO READY to star documenting! I have have done a DD for the last 2 years, and I am so psyched to star my 2009 version!

  • 33.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Hi Chris – it goes on sale this weekend. I will post a link next week :) .

  • 34.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Hi Amy – here is a link to the post that walks you through that: /2008/10/week-in-the-l-9.html

  • 35.
    noell said…

    So I’ve got step one already completed…Christmas is all together in one bin. I admit I never finished assembling last year’s book. I need to decide if I want to get that baby done before I start yet another project, or if I want to go ahead and assemble this year’s so I won’t run into the problem of last year–not having it ready in time. :)

  • 36.
    Rebecca G. said…

    Last year was the first time I tried this. I was really surprised at how much I truly enjoyed the process. I can’t wait to do it again this year and have already started gathering supplies as well! Thanks for the fantastic inspiration and super idea!

  • 37.
    Nettie said…

    I am so going to try this!
    It seems to be harder with my son a teenager to do traditional things during the holidays….with him….so this year I have non traditional ideas……need to keep him involved….so need to document this….to see if it will be a success or failure…it will be documented. Thanks for doing this again this year.

  • 38.
    patti said…

    Woo hoo! I have been gathering for the last month and can hardly wait to start. This is my second year doing this. Last year’s came out great and my family loves it! Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement!

  • 39.
    Melanie K. said…

    I have actually gathered and put mine together this weekend. I have it socked away with some other tidbits in case a page needs something extra. I ended up doing my pages from grocery bags …sounds strange, but I wanted kraft colored paper and wanted to (well, HAVE TO, is more like it) save money. I figure it is a good way to recycle too. I have the holes punched for binding with my Bind it all, but not actually bound yet, I figure I will do that after I am finished. I have a feeling it will expand some!

  • 40.
    Elisha Wiggins said…

    Hi Ali,
    I did the December Daily album last year and I loved every minute of it. My kids LOVED it so much and it made our December so special. Thanks for the inspiration. Last year, I had already purchased a making memories mini album kit (Fa La La La), so I just made that work. This year I can’t seem to find any kits similar to the one I did last year. Can you recommend some kits/products for me? I just feel like I need something like a mini-album kit that I can start with and then make it my own as I put the album together. Any ideas?

  • 41.
    Clair said…

    Yay! So excited by December Daily. Bring on the holidays :)

  • 42.
    caryl said…

    Ali, your blog has always been one of my ‘happy places’ to go…early in the morning with a cup of coffee..look at your precious family and enjoy your thoughtful writing…BUT, all the side bar flashing ads are ruining it for me!! any chance we can chance we can stop some of the peripheral activity? Just asking…i understand it means money for you…
    keep up the great job!

  • 43.
    Pam said…

    Make it more difficult? Moi? As in, I went shopping over the weekend for supplies to make a book for myself, DD, and DDIL? DD moved back to Australia and DDIL moved several hundred miles away – both moves this summer. I’m going to do my best to not wallow in self-pity and instead use these books to encourage us to stay in touch during the busy month. Thanks Ali!

  • 44.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Hi Caryl – thanks for the feedback – it is appreciated. I don’t have plans to make any changes to that right now but will take it into consideration for future changes I may be making to the blog as a whole :) .

  • 45.
    deborah said…

    Love your last 2 sentences. I think I need to take a deep breath.
    Last year I got my book all ready to go, then couldn’t keep up with the journaling and getting pictures printed professionally. I have a photo printer now, but do you have any suggestions for the partly finished book from last year? Combine it somehow with a book for this year? Or am I making things too complicated?
    Thanks for your inspiration!

  • 46.
    TracyBzz said…

    Last year I just used some various tags and stuff around 3×4″. I jsut journaled what we did that day that was Christmas-y. I would like to start my album in November and just write down the seasonal stuff. If we don’t do anything that day, then skip it.
    The reason I didn’t include pictures is becuase I did a daily September album and found it was alot to keep up with. I had leave space for my photos since I have to get them printed in the city, when I get there.

  • 47.
    Danielle said…

    I am so excited to get started on this project. I wanted to do it last year but we traveled and I thought it would be too much to keep up with this project but this year I am ready!!

  • 48.
    Melanie J said…

    Last year I didn’t do this because of just having a baby. However, this year I’m ready to try it out. Such a fun concept! (And you little comment at the end about already making it too complicated in my head–yea, totally me. I’ll try to relax :) )

  • 49.
    Megan Turnidge said…

    You’re always an inspiration, Ali, and I’m sooo excited to do this project this year… so excited that i started it a while ago… lol
    I’ve already posted the first part of my album (digi hybrid style…woot!)

  • 50.
    Annette said…

    Hi Ali,
    Love the December daily!!!!! did it last year and can’t wait to get it started this year. I’m also doing your Yesterday and today class, will I have time for both????
    Keep it simple…..

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