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.


  • 51.
    Amy Jaz said…

    So excited to start this journey today! I already have my topic selected and my page created. Just waiting to add my photo and journaling tonight! Thank you for the creative inspiration!

  • 52.
    Glenda Dalman said…

    My very first time, and I’ll do my best to finish this album.Thanks for the inspiration.

  • 53.
    Kristyn said…

    Many thanks for all the generous sharing you do here on your site. I so appreciate the permission you give us to make it our own. I sometimes get caught up in the perfection of it all. Have a wonderful december daily.

  • 54.
    Connie R said…

    Even though it is tough to fit this in, timewise, this is the one album I try to complete every year. And, given that it is our daughter’s high school senior year, and the last year she may be with us every day during December, I am trying really hard to document the month in pictures. I think this project is one thing that helps me focus on the reasons we treasure and celebrate the Advent during this month. Thanks for the opportunity!

  • 55.
    Karen Heisler said…

    Woke up to SNOW this morning! What a great way to say “hello” to December! I couldn’t ask for a better moment for day 1!

    Ali, thanks for the inspiration and the chances to win great stuff!

  • 56.
    Linda said…

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this project. I realize it is at it’s heart a holiday project…but…oh what huge transitional moments it has captured for us!

    This morning I sent my camera to school with my second grader…. when i stopped by mid-morning the primary director couldn’t quit giggling (Mrs. V is a 50-something woman).. all she would say is a very very cryptic…. “All I can say is we might have taken a couple photos of Ella…and of the snow we made…and of well each other…can we keep your camera?” I can hardly wait to see what they captured.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I loved reading that :)

  • 57.
    Angela said…

    What could be more fitting to kick off December than with our first snow of the season? Just found my day one inspiration!

  • 58.
    Amanda said…

    Looking forward to this project …

  • 59.
    Jennifer said…

    My first year that I will try this. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  • 60.
    ShellyP said…

    Wow! I love reading all the comments about how excited everyone is to get started on the DD’s. Just reading these make me smile! This is such a Happy Place. I love it!
    I’m anxious to see the pages that are posted and “lift” some of your ideas!
    Thanks Ali for your guidance and encouragement and contribution to making the holidays happy! Happy Holidays everyone!

  • 61.
    Cheryl M said…

    Hi Ali and thanks so much for doing this every year. This is my 2nd year doing DD and I’ve been so looking forward to this day. Have my photo taken and will be working on my post tonight.
    Merry Christmas everybody and Happy DDing!!

  • 62.
    Marianne said…

    Soo excited to begin! This is my 4th year and it’s probably one of my favorite projects to do! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • 63.
    Jane said…

    I made a “kind thoughts” advent card using the digital designers kit.

    Printed the pdf of the card and mod podged onto some golden fabric that I got in a plastic sack from the local curtain maker (and has been sitting in the back kitchen for 6+ months).

    The first card said ‘invite someone you love to dinner’ and my three year old was so excited to get this thought. I got huge hugs, ‘Mama, Mama, I invite you’ and a dance around the kitchen. It was worth making the whole set just for the delight (and the hugs) so that is the DD story for day one.

    My husband wanted to know where the 3 year will take me. I thought the kids would say something like invite Papa or Granny or someone like that. Or that it would be totally over their heads (and the plain olde chocolate calendar would win).

    So I am chuffed and feeling loved. And now I am going to bed happy. :-)

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Just so awesome.

  • 64.
    Hannah said…

    My kids got up this morning and exclaimed “yes! we can start the advent calendars!” I got up and said “yes! I can start December Daily!” I keep smiling to myself thinking about the fun to come :)

  • 65.
    Karen Geckler said…

    I have followed your Dec. Daily projects for years, but never actually completed one for myself. Well, 2011 is my year to participate. thank you for sharing your inspiration and talent.

  • 66.
    Sue FitzGerald said…

    This year I am letting go and embracing imperfection by using my Iphone camera to capture December. No worries of editing, camera settings etc, just memories and it’s always with me. I have the 365 app whcih allows a photo a day and journaling so even if I don’t get to it everyday there are still prompts there so I don’t forget. I’m even reusing the album I made last year that I never used. Maybe this year I will not only start Dec daily but actually finish it too :-)

  • 67.
    Jenny Star Lor said…

    Well said! I needed to read that. Thank you for the great post.

  • 68.
    Stephanie said…

    Would love the chance to win! Thanks for the inspiration! Can’t wait to start my December Daily!

  • 69.

    I love this post. People get so stressed out over projects like this. I am not doinf a daily album, but I am looking forward to doing lots of layouts-maybe even a mini album?? I am goign to take little notes here and there to help me along. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • 70.
    Deb A said…

    Just finished our first page for our first December Daily. All the Advent Calendars are out, including our favs from Canada. Documenting our first Christmas in a new country feels like a special gift. Thank you Ali.

  • 71.
    Cynthia H said…

    Ali, did you write #9 just for me? ; D

  • 72.
    susanmcl said…

    this is going to be fun!

  • 73.
    Barb in AK said…

    Thanks to Daily Digi for the free manual! I’m going to read it through and through, as I have been interested in trying digi-scrapping!

  • 74.
    Bec said…

    I admit that I am one of those people who have the boring life with no little kids getting excited. I am going to try to find things to document just because. Wish me luck.

  • 75.
    shelleymay said…

    i have been following this concept since it’s inception. i have begun albums ahead of time for two years now and never completed them prior to December, so what never motivated to follow this through. this year? i had my DD album done and ready to go end of october! thank you, AE, for inspiring me, as always. i had an inspirational, fun, and adventurous lil December 1st with my daughter, i can’t wait to document!!!

  • 76.

    Ali, I have a technical question — with the overlay pages printed on cardstock, you then have the back side blank, which I assume becomes the first page of the next day’s spread. If so, since you’ve already added materials to the other side (like the Playmobil calendar packaging last year), how do you run into through the printer to add a photo page? Do you just remove anything bulky and then put it back on afterwards? Maybe I’m just being a bit dull-witted this late at night…. I just decided tonight that I will use the overlays to give my book some structure, so that’s why I’m wondering.

  • 77.
    Mary Riley said…

    This is my year to do DD and my dtrs. first to be away in NY serving in the Coast Guard. So we both are doing a DD album!! I am spending the first part of the month in Ny with her and then she is coming home with me for the last half of the month. I can’t wait to do our albums together. Thanks Ali for the idea and some good dtr/mother bonding activities!!!

  • 78.
    Kirsten H said…

    To take the stress out for me, I’m doing this blog style this year. Hopefully in Jan I will have the time to make a mini book from it all. But already it’s got me to pull the camera out and document writing to Santa. A perfect way to start the month

  • 79.
    Tracy said…

    Hi Ali,
    Wishing you all the joy of the season.
    I have started my journal..yikes..scarey but sooo excited.It is my little niece Orlaith`s birthday on the 1st and i have done a page about her..she is adoreable and we spent an evening together with family and we all had a lovely time..playing,laughing and catching up.My book is already so fat,lol,and it is only day 2!!
    I only have a tag with some journalling to add to my day 1.
    Thank you so much for the inspiration and i am looking forward to living each day and journalling my way through what i hope will be a special keepsake to treasure.

  • 80.
    dhill said…

    I’m so excited to be joining December Daily for the first time this year. Thank you, Ali, for the encouragement and the reminder not to be pressured and stressed out by the task or the season. I appreciate your willingness to share your creativity with us. You are such an inspiration to memory keepers everywhere. :-)

  • 81.
    Mona said…

    Hi Ali! BIG thanks for inspiration! I’ve started doing my December Daily journal thanks to You!!! It’s my first 10 days of Dec, please, let’s see on my flickr or a blog

Post a comment