Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

December 1, 2011

December Daily™ 2011 | Hello December And A Few More Tips To Get You Started

December Daily 2011 | The Cover

1. TAKE A DEEP BREATH. This project is not meant to cause additional stress or anxiety (there’s enough of that going around as it is). Take it one day at a time, one story at a time. Consider it an opportunity to slow down and savor what you most love about the holidays through words and photos (and some other fun crafty stuff mixed in if you want).

2. MAKE STUFF WHEN YOU CAN. Some days I put my layout together first thing in the morning – a certain story will come to light and I’ll decide that will be the topic for the day. You don’t have to wait until the end of the day to document a piece of it. Most days I put my pages together in the evening – yes, it often means staying up a bit later than normal, but for me, it’s been worth it over the years.

3. BE REALISTIC. I post everyday because I want to encourage you to keep going because the end result is really pretty awesome. You should have zero stress if you don’t/can’t/decide not to “keep up” with the daily posting, uploading, etc. Don’t worry if you miss a couple days – you can always add them in when you have a bit more time.

4. YOU DON’T HAVE TO CAPTURE EVERYTHING. I don’t approach December Daily™ the same way I approach Week In The Life. I’m not trying to document everything that happens from waking up to falling into bed. I look for ONE STORY per day – that’s it. Keep it simple – one little story per day adds up to a big collection of 25 at the end of the journey.

5. THIS IS NOT JUST A PROJECT FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE STUFF GOING ON. And your life is not too boring to document. There’s so many things you could document in addition to where you end up on any given day.

6. TAKE THE TERM “DAILY” WITH A GRAIN OF SALT. If you have TONS of stuff happening there’s no rule that says you have to tell the story only on the day it happened. Use the word “daily” loosely – as a guide – if you go to the Nutcracker on Sunday but already have a story you want to share for that day then tell the Nutcracker story on a different day. No big deal.

7. HAVE FUN. Yes, have fun. If it becomes not fun, switch things up. Do something different. Put your camera away and just write or put down your pen and just take photos or have a day where you just play with your products to create a cool collage of memories on the page.

8. THINK ABOUT PERSPECTIVE. Consider what you wish you knew about someone in your life and how they spent their holidays. What was their perspective, what did they love most? Get those types of stories into your book. I’m continually thinking from the perspective of what I wish I knew, and what I most want my kids to know down the road.


If you want more specific ideas don’t forget to check out the 25 December Daily™ Ideas and Story Inspiration post for more ways to get you motivated for telling your December stories.

Here’s a few other great places to find, and share, December Daily™ visual inspiration:

Tomorrow I’ll be back early in the AM with my DAY ONE post (I have to live it before I can document it). That post will include a place for you to link to your stories of the day.

Most of all my hope for you is that this album brings YOU joy.

Now go live your life, record some stories and make a little something.

Happy December!


The FREE Digital Scrapbooking Manual is a resource filled with information we wished we would have known when we started digital scrapbooking. We asked digital scrapbookers and designers from around the community what they wished they would have known in the beginning and we share that information with you; expanding on it to save you from making the same mistakes we did. The Digital Scrapbooking Manual is a free gift brought to you by The Daily Digi.


  • 1.
    rhonda said…

    So excited for this day Ali! This is my 3rd year and I can’t thank you enough for sharing your daily life with us!

    • ….
      Raylene said…

      Third year for me too! I have been waiting for the calendar to turn over so I can start to clean & decorate! December Daily has become a part of my December traditions! I’m trying to get my daughter to get in on it too!

  • 2.
    dawn said…

    Happy December Ali and everyone. I love this post and all the words of wisdom you share here. This year I’m doing my DD thru an art journal and am very excited about it.

    Thank you for all you do and inspire us with.

    hugs and gratitude for you this December!!

  • 3.
    Paula in Australia said…

    Happy December Ali. We have lived our first day here in Australia so it is off to bed for hubby and 3 yr old daughter after a fun filled night of decorating. Mackenzie absolutely loved the whole process. She is really into it this year and it is an absolute joy to watch. Thank you for inspiring me to document my December. Hope your first day is a good one.

  • 4.
    Mellie J said…

    Here in Australia, the first of December is coming quickly to an end and my photos are printed and my page is underway. Have to say I can’t believe it’s December already, but feels really good to get December Daily started! Woohoo!!

  • 5.
    Gina Baj said…

    I am sooo excited about this….. my first year! My albums ready and I have taken todays photos. Now what to do for tomorrow???? Hmmmmm!

  • 6.
    Ann House said…

    This is the first time I’ve taken the time to read your posts. I love the idea – this will be a great time to do it because I’m starting a new business venture that definitely will take a lot of my time. I would love all the tips for a successful 1st year of doing this and look forward with sharing it with my family! I have been working all night entering products. Like I said, I’m excited to have found this!

  • 7.
    Danielle Taylor said…

    So excited! Started capturing the season already but really feels underway now :)

  • 8.
    Danielle said…

    Thanks, Ali. This is the best I felt about my DD since I started thinking about it a month ago.

  • 9.
    scrappysue said…

    Ali, wishing you a fabulous December and all the best to everyone documenting the festive season!

    Thanks also to Daily Digi for the manual, looks like a great read!

  • 10.
    Cherri Engle said…

    I have been waiting for today…yeah!!! Thank you for sharing such great advice today regarding how to approach our DD 2011 adventure. Sometimes I get wrapped up in having to tell a ‘big’ story, something that others would think is important. But I will enjoy this year documenting the ‘big’ and the ordinary. I cannot wait to follow along with you and your other followers. Happy December Dailying…

  • 11.
    Marilyn said…

    Can’t believe its already December 1st. Excited to get started. This is my 3rd year making my DD album and I promised myself that this would be the year that I would actually complete the whole thing. Its only 6AM here in Chicago and I couldn’t wait to check out your blog. Here we go – let’s have fun!

  • 12.
    Estellita said…

    Hourra !!!!
    I am not really ready, but i have my first page complete. I love this project, so go for tomorrow !!!

  • 13.
    Donna Bess said…

    I’m ready! I can’t wait!

  • 14.
    Thea Monks said…

    December 1 has come & almost gone, but at least I have a photo for my December Daily to work on my page tomorrow. I am looking forward to how mine, & yours, take shape over the coming days.

  • 15.
    Jane said…

    Well I for one am so upset!!!! I had my album all planned and yesterday my Canon Rebel bit the dust!!!! Broken pin so it won’t read the lense. It has to go back to Canon and we are talking 6-8 weeks. :( OH and I just gave my old digital camera to my best friend, talk about timing!!!!

    I have thought about just writing stories each day but I really really really wanted pictures too. I love taking pictures of the decorations around the house etc.


    • ….
      Nathalie Hardy said…

      Oh no! I guess there’s your Dec. 1 pictureless story and maybe spend a couple bucks on a disposable camera while you figure out your next step. Would your best friend loan you back your camera?

    • ….
      kelly libby said…

      a good friend will give it back to you. Just ask. Or just ask to borrow it for your December Daily. : )

    • ….
      Ali said…

      ACK! How about a phone camera?

    • ….
      Jane said…

      My cell phone takes pictures but I can’t download them…old type cell…dark ages!
      I could ask my friend for it back for a bit and I know that she would do it in a heart beat but she is an hour away from me. I am sure she really wanted to use it for Christmas as she has a little guy.

    • ….
      Nathalie Hardy said…

      I thought I was the only one with a dinosaur cell phone! What if, until you figure out your camera deal, you focus on “scraps” and stories of the holiday – past memories, fave decorations – stuff you can take pics of later?

    • ….
      Jane said…

      Wonderful friend loaned me their old point and shoot but I will take it!!!! I will get by until my camera is back and just go forward. We have to deal with what we have right?

  • 16.
    libbi m. said…

    So excited. Last night I was checking out all the beautiful December dailys in the Shutterfly gallery. Lots of inspiration there too.

  • 17.
    Janette said…

    Thanks for the lovely words of encouragement Ali! I’m embarking on my first ever DD and I’m already loving it! Big hugs!

  • 18.
    Jenni Hufford said…

    thanks for these tips– super helpful!!

  • 19.
    Kathleen Desio said…

    Hooray its December 1st and I can’t wait to start! I’m journalling with my two sons as well – great way to get them writing and to create memories.

    Looking forward to doing this project alongside all of you :-)

  • 20.
    Lorette C said…

    So excited to start this! Thank you so much for sharing with us!

  • 21.
    Leah Burgett said…

    I am so excited! This is my first Decemeber Daily!! I can’t wait to get started!! Thanks for the tips!

  • 22.
    Flavia said…

    Dear Ali,

    my name is Flavia and I write from Italy. I discovered for the first time what a December Daily is through your blog and I decided to embark in this wonderful project for the first time.

    I just started with the base pages and I did my first page (day 1). I really hope to be able to keep going with regularity and I must admit I am a little bit worried! Anyway, thanks for your words of encouragment, I will keep reading you everyday to keep me motivated!

    Thanks a lot and happy December to everyone!

    • ….
      kelly libby said…

      please share your pages. I’m very interested in other cultures and their holiday traditions. Good Luck!!

    • ….
      Flavia said…

      Dear Kelly, thanks for the interest! I will certainly share my pages..but I am not sure how to do it…a link to my blog is fine? (it is all in italian though…)

  • 23.
    Shelley said…

    So excited to get started, and the kids are too!

  • 24.
    Therese said…

    One of the best things I did with my December Daily was combine it in with Shimelle’s “Journal your Christmas” online class. Shimelle sends out daily prompts and ideas that not only helped me complete my December Daily with Ali, but added insightful journaling to my book. I love how my books contain daily stories and traditions from Shimelle’s prompts.

    I also noticed that I truly paid more attention to the small meaningful things we all do around the holidays. It makes my holiday much more enjoyable and I love that I have memories recorded for my children.

  • 25.
    Laura@OV said…

    I like your Bullet Point for #6. My December Daily this year and last year is not about what we do each day.

    Instead, I compile all of my photos and stories and put them into a category, such as “stuff we do”, “things we eat”, “reasons we celebrate”, “places we go”. It totally takes the pressure off. Yes, I do my book after the fact, but I gather everything as I go along and I’m so happy with how my book last year turned out. No pressure, but still tells a great story!

    • ….
      Nathalie Hardy said…

      Laura! Love it! Kind of Stacy Julian’s approach to this project … I might incorporate that concept into mine. :)

    • ….
      kelly libby said…

      great idea!!!

  • 26.
    jlthore said…

    What a way to start December – Frost on the windshield this morning!! One guess as to my Decmerber 1 pic…my husband scrapping the car windsheild with is P.F. Chang’s Warrior card (we’re in FL)!!!!!

  • 27.
    Katie Scott said…

    I loved your 11/21/11 post about stories for December Daily so much!

    I want to say that December Daily has become part of my holiday tradition – thank you for coming up with this project – it is completely awesome!

  • 28.
    Amy Lynn said…

    Hmmm…I’ve been waiting for this day to come! My kiddos are 4 1/2 and 6 this season…the anticipation of Christmas and all that it encompasses is electric. I have a feeling this will be the best December Daily so far…bring it on!

  • 29.
    Daniela Donner said…

    HI, Ali.

    Thanks for reminding me that it is OK to tell stories on different days… I always have a hard time finding something I want to tell each day.

  • 30.
    Lynn M said…

    This is my first time also. Thanks for all the tips this morning. I was totally overwhelmed until I read #4; I already know what my ONE STORY is going to be.

  • 31.
    Brooke M said…

    So excited it’s Dec 1st. I just finished up my album cover last night. So I am all ready to go. :) Now just need to get through my work day, so that I can go take a picture for today’s page!

  • 32.
    Debbie S. said…

    Cheers, Ali! Thanks for this project…it has brought so much joy to my Decembers these last few years! :D

  • 33.
    Heather said…

    Thanks Ali for the encouragement. You are amazing…we forget about TODAY too often! I’ve already taken my picture of the day…”Scout” the elf arrived at our house this morning! Too fun!

  • 34.
    judi said…

    Is the 2011 kit still available at Studio Calico?

  • 35.
    Nathalie Hardy said…

    Yay! Let the games begin! I’m excited about this season, this project and this community. I didn’t finish my first DD until April of this year and I am so glad I didn’t give up on it b/c it was worth it. If nothing else … throw your scraps, ideas and pics into a folder for later.

  • 36.
    Suz said…

    Happy December Ali! Looking forward to finding the joy warpped up in December. Thank you for your continuous source of inspiration.
    All the best for a light and joyful holiday season. :)

  • 37.
    Katrina said…

    Giving it a go again this year – but using a Smash book. :) Looking forward to documenting holiday spirit right along with everyday life.

  • 38.
    Michelle Walther said…

    So excited to be doing Dec. Daily again this year. I love how it makes me more conscious to slow down, take notice, and savor all that I love about the holidays. For me (and I’m sure, so many others), Christmas is not just the day, but all that the season encompasses. It’s full of loving, living, remembering, & making new memories. It’s something that makes all my senses come alive even more than usual. This project definitely helps me pay attention to those things and highlight them. The end result ends up being a beautiful gift to enjoy for years to come. Thanks again, Ali, for the inspiration.

  • 39.
    Gina Crowley said…

    Ali, #9 made me smile. I resemble that remark!!!

  • 40.
    Christine said…

    So excited to start this year!!! I am all set and looking forward to seeing what everyone shares.

  • 41.
    Paula G said…

    Thank you ALI!! Well…I finally made my cover last night…not what I originally planned, but I found the GOOD in it! At midnight, I used the spray mist from the SC kit, and I’d never done this before, and alot more came out than I expected – I ended up with a case of the giggles….I’m going with the flow and already having fun. You are right, it doesn’t have to go the way I thought it would every day – or even any day – it is still going to be wonderful!

  • 42.
    marlene said…

    I’m so excited to start! this is my 4th year doing this album and I love it :)

  • 43.
    Laura said…

    Happy December, Ali and everyone.

  • 44.
    Annette said…

    Thanks for the inspiration! Love all these tips and will keep them in mind. I like how you approach it differently than week in the life to. Definitely takes the pressure off and a reminder to live our memories!

  • 45.
    heather said… just finished my first day!!! So excite to get December going!!

  • 46.
    Mabel M said…

    Just finished my book yesterday and working on my first day, no estress, really is a super fun project. Thanks for sharing us!! =)

  • 47.
    Kate Burroughs said…

    Thank you for doing the December Daily every year. I am finally making one this year. Although I can’t find a chipboard album, that fits the finished project I am going for it and will get it bound later. I started with a 1″ spine binder but it will not be big enough to handle all 25 days. What a joy to go through all my Christmas paper and ephemera that I have collected over the years to make the album!
    Aloha, Kate

  • 48.
    Andrea*B said…

    It’s my first year and I’m so excited…. this has been a seed in my mind for a very long time. Thanks for putting feet to it!

  • 49.
    Tinka said…

    This will be my first DD and I am looking forward to working on it. Still waiting for the album to ship from SC, and I haven’t even looked at the rest of the kit materials yet. But I have been making a mental list of possible stories to document this season.

  • 50.
    jesa said…

    Thank you Ali, today’s post is very encouraging and a gentle reminder not to get overwhelmed but rather enjoy the process, days and stories that will emerge during the month. I was fortunate to have my story for the day unfold nicely when I overheard my husband telling my son a story and using the nutcracker to role play. It’s a rare event early in the morning before school begins as my husband leaves earlier than we do. I captured a father-on moment both as a picture and story. Thank You!!!

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