December Daily 2010 | Finding Time, Making Time, Trading Time


AE December Daily 2009

QUESTION FROM DEBORAH | I have been following along each day with your preparations for this year's December Daily. I am so excited to begin even though I haven't had a spare moment to throw my album together yet. And that, is what concerns me. I know that you are super busy, that all your fellow December Daily doers are super busy. But, this project is important, and it really isn't a matter of finding time -- because that extra 25th hour just doesn't exist. I think it really is about trading time -- doing December Daily pages instead of doing...? And so, I was wondering if you'd consider asking your readers what they find themselves giving up/letting go of/setting aside in order to have the time to take part in this project. It would be so helpful to get some perspective about how other maxed-out moms reorganize their priorities during this time of year. I've already cut down on the workouts, set up the Tivo, closed-off all non-essential bathrooms, dug out the slow cooker…I am in need of some ideas to gain some scrapping time.

AE | I'm looking forward to reading the suggestions and thoughts in the comments today. In the past I've done a variety of different things - worked on my pages in the evening, in the morning and in the afternoon - whenever I could find/make/trade time. Sometimes I put my page together as soon as I come across the story I want to tell - such as something that happens at breakfast. I snap a couple photos, upload, print, add journaling, and get it in my book as soon as I have a chance. Some years I've been more artsy so it's taken longer. This year, I'm really going for simple. In all the years I've done this project I almost always focus on telling just one story per day - I don't attempt to document everything minute by minute for this project. I pick one, tell it with words + photo(s) and stick it down. Then I go about life until I choose a story on the following day.

I'd love to read your thoughts on this today. What do you find yourself giving up/letting go of/setting aside in order to take part in this project?

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155 thoughts

  1. Louise P says…
    11/29/2010

    OOh, good question! I look forward to seeing the answers as I'm one maxed-out-working-mum-of-two.

    I guess it helps me that my husband is really good at trying to give me some 'me time' so I'll be playing that card lots this month! I shall have a think about other possible solutions.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Kim says…
    11/29/2010

    What do I give up? To me, finding time to do something is all about making it a priority. It might mean I don't check into Facebook, or perhaps I don't get to finish that chapter in the book I'm reading. Then again, I don't spend more than a half hour each day working on my album. It's ready to go, so I just need to journal. I take the pictures daily, but I don't edit them and print them until Friday or Saturday. I'm a teacher, and I find it's easier for me to take the pictures daily, but edit and print them each weekend. My journaling is hand written, so there's no effort to that. Last year, we ended up traveling unexpectedly over the actual holiday and I left my journal at home. I simply typed up my journaling each day, and when I got home, I rewrote it into my album. P.S. It's OK to buy a premade album (Etsy has tons). It's all about making it easy for you.

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Marie says…
    11/29/2010

    I am by no means an expert -- but I do the journaling each night before bed (if possible) and print the pictures every couple days (I don't have an awesome printer @ home) So I batch it a little -- which helps. I use post-it notes & put those in my wallet if there are little things I don't want to forget during the day. I don't worry so much about the layout -- figuring simple/straight forward & DONE is better than fancy and embellished. I am a single-mom who works full-time & the last 2 years I was grad school too -- so it can be done. I was helpful for me to remember the book is for me and my son most of all -- it might not be something anyone else will oooo or ahhhh over -- and that's ok. :)

    Reply 3 Replies
    1. Raylene says…
      11/30/2010

      This would also work for December Daily: I find that my busy time is during summer holidays. We travel by motorcycle so I can't write while on the road! But I make it a priority to journal and upload my pictures into my laptop every day. No exceptions! We travel for over 2 weeks and if I didn't make this my No. 1 task each day, I'd never remember where we went & what we did. When I get home, I put together my album and it is always easier when the "legwork" is already done!

    2. Jude says…
      11/30/2010

      Love the post it note idea and uploading photos daily.

    3. Macy says…
      12/01/2010

      I use a small notebook that fits in my purse for jotting down little things throughout each day of December. I labeled each page with the date at the top. This way all of my notes are together in one spot, which makes it alot easier when i go to journal on my page. hope this helps!

  4. Jenny says…
    11/29/2010

    TV is definitely on my list of things that gets dropped. I used to find myself cleaning up from dinner, then parking myself in front of the television for the rest of the evening, almost every night of the week. Now I think I watch *maybe* two or three hours worth of TV all week long, total. I still use the DVR to record my favorite show, but I watch it without commercials and that saves time too!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Tinabobina99 says…
      11/29/2010

      The DVR has been a great time-saver for me, too. I don't know what I'd do if I had to watch a program with all the commercials!

  5. [email protected] w says…
    11/29/2010

    My plan is to make this album as simple as possible in 2 ways. 1). Keep the same formatting for each page and only change up the number of photos. 2). Mandatory: use a handy calendar to write quick notes of the day's events. If I'm short on time for the day, at least I can go back and get the photo or write the journaling that I missed the next day (or two).

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. madeline St onge says…
    11/29/2010

    Well I am retired so I can shift time easier than someone who works and has little ones BUT I give up face book and computer time to do my albums because I spend waaay too much time on FB

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. dawn says…
    11/29/2010

    The first thing I'd say not to cut back on are your workouts, this is the month that workouts matter. It will relieve your stress, keep you healthy during these yummy tons of homemade goodies kinda days, keep you sane and clear out your thoughts. It sounds like your off to a good start already especially the crock pot idea. I agree with the above comments and especially Kim saying a premade album is perfect. I plan on doing my journaling right into my album that very day and printing pictures on the weekend. I also give up all my other scrapbooking projects for this month it just makes it easier for me to make time for the decorating and the family time stuff. I also have project life album so that helps me take one photo a day and journal in it every few days. Maybe if your kids are old enough to help you can include them in this and help pick the photo of the day and let them do the journaling that way it's a family project and you won't feel guily not spending time with them. Years later it would be so cool for you to see your child's handwriting and see their stories. What else above all is what Ali says make this very simple photos and words, which is what I'm sticking to this year since it's my first year. Next year I plan on doing some fun stuff with mine. Keep it simple and sweet.

    Another idea Ali has said is to make it just the twelve days or whatever amount of days works for you. So please don't let this chance go by. I even talked my sisters into joining me and can't wait for us to share our albums togehter after the new year. We are each doing a different version and I'm so excited. Another reason is I just lost my grandpa two months ago and I so wish I had done this last year but I passed it because I thought it would be to hard. Not this year I'm making the time because now I know there never really is a good time you just have to do it. Hope this helps and I'm looking forward to the comments today too, thanks for this Ali.

    Good luck to all of you DD doers!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Stephanie Kennedy says…
    11/29/2010

    I love the concept of "trading time". I always tell people who look at my scrapbooks and to-do lists that we all have the same 24 hrs in a day, LOL. You just pick and choose what you want to do.

    I work full time out of the house and have three kids, a husband, and a dog. There is never a lack of something to do! But my goal for this year and December Daily is to let a few more things go (like putting laundry away each and every night - it can sit there for a day without any harm!), enlist the help of the kids more (who says kids can't help load the dishwasher or vacuum, right?), and most of all just keep it simple. My focus will be on the stories you wouldn't thinkg to tell...instead of decorating the tree pictures, how about a December Daily about the five most cherished ornaments?

    We'll see how it goes, I'll be anxiously reading everyone else's replies!!

    Cheers,

    Steph

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Melanie K says…
      11/29/2010

      Hey, I am a working out of home to three boys too! And I don't watch TV at all (no time anyway) ... but this month, I won't read my book of the month for my club. I also make use of my camera phone - I take pictures any and everywhere. And no they are FAR from perfect and I just deal with it. I craft at night when my kids are in bed (well, they are SUPPOSED to be ... they usually sneak in and ask what I am doing) so that is when I work on my book. Having done this for the first time last year, I have to say I was sooo excited to uncover last years from our last box of ornaments. I sat for an hour looking back at it and remembering all I had forgotten! Amazing.
      I also go by Shimelle Laine's Journal Your Christmas workshop (which you remain a member of forever) ... follow her prompts and you have your subject for the day. I also signed up for another class by Sherrie JD at Deviant Scrap ... she is going to provide prompts also. That way I will have something to write about that day.
      To make my book, I decide on the size and cut all the papers I need (plus some) in one sitting and hole punch them. If I have time to sit and decorate my pages I do beforehand (I just got to it this weekend!) If I don't, so what? My book from last was not awesome because of the embellies. It was awesome because of the stories I wrote about.

    2. Maria L says…
      11/30/2010

      Another mom of 3 who works FT out of the home too! This is my first year trying a december daily, and while there is a little part of me that is nervous about being able to follow through, i'm just going to do it. and if it's not "perfect," that's ok and i'm going to try my hardest not to let that stress me out. As everyone else has been saying, it's about the memories and the feeling my family and i will have when we can look through this keepsake in the years to come!

      We can do it! :)

  9. Anya says…
    11/29/2010

    Putting an album together shouldn't take much time. I lOVED this project last year, so this year I decided to get my sisters and sister in law involved. I premade 5 December Daily albums. Very simple - just cut a variety of papers 8x6, add a few 8x4, added envelopes... hole punched them. DONE. They can work on a cover later. I even printed some DD information for them to read. Should say some of them got really excited.

    Finding time... First of all, I think of what I'll write about before actually sitting down to do so, for example - while doing dishes, or cleaning. And when my kids are watching TV or already in bed, I download pictures, pic my favorite photo or two, and type my journaling. I guess I don't mind going to bed later...

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Kim N says…
      11/29/2010

      I love how you did this for others! This is my first time trying DD but if it goes well, I will be copying your idea to make extras to give to my mom, sister, mother in law and 2 sister in laws ... who knows if they will do them or not but I think it's a beautiful idea.

  10. ckoesters says…
    11/29/2010

    re: steph I like your idea of escalating the emotional content of the usual stories- of course I'm going to take the "icing the cookies" photo, and the "tree with the lights on" photo- but instead of the rather mundane journaling I might depend on "we had so much FUN decorating our tree this year, blah blah..." I might think about the emotions the moment brings up for me... most often gratitude, but what about pride, sadness, or even sillyness? I'm all about getting down the stories- my 6 year old goes through the 2008 and 2009 versions so much- and I listen to the questions she asks... maybe I can start with those in my 2010.

    As for what I'm trading this year? probably sleep:-) definitely tv, and I have more time on the weekends,so I will probably do a few marathon scrapping session 3 or 4 times in the month to get caught up.

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Ruth says…
    11/29/2010

    I block off 8-9pm in the evening for scrapping time. DS is in bed and DH & I will have eaten, chores will be done. I then join DH for anything we want to watch on the TV at 9pm ... with a hot cup ot tea! (We parents of toddlers know how to live!)
    This last week I've found myself pre-planning pages: 1st is the visit to Santa (nice and early, so there is time to produce the Christmas cards using the Santa photo) and the 9th will be DS's Nursery School Christmas production.
    Easy in theory!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Beth Perry says…
      11/29/2010

      I think Ruth has a good point here. If you want this to be one of your priorities this month, then block off time. Actually schedule your time that you can enjoy putting this memory album together, just like you would schedule anything else that needs to be done.

  12. Tracey Holdyk says…
    11/29/2010

    For me its at the end of the day, usually about 8pm when kids are in bed and my hubby is watching tv, thats when I go into my craft room and create. I like it then its quiet and I figure what is not done by 8pn can just wait to the next day. I need to do this to keep me sane and to make sure I give a little bit back to me.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ruth says…
      11/29/2010

      Snap!

  13. Regina says…
    11/29/2010

    Time is precious for me this time of year because I work full-time plus we have a family trip to Disney planned in mid-December. I plan on giving up some of my computer time in the evening to work on my page. If I get super busy and don't have the time, I have a little notebook that I will journal and clip the photo to along with the date. Then when I have free time I will add to my album. Love the DD.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Sarah says…
    11/29/2010

    I'm not doing the DD this year. Just knew it wouldn't happen, but last year, I used post-it notes for each day with ideas for journal or actual journalling (to be handwritten in the album) and then on Friday night uploaded photos and then picked them up on Saturday. I only worked on my album on Saturdays/Sundays when my husband was home. - sometimes I had to set the timer for 15 here and 15 minutes there, just to get something done. I'll admit is was after new years before I completed it and a few days were left out along the way, but it is one of my most treasured albums. My husband and kids love it.

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Lisa says…
    11/29/2010

    I'm a morning person, and when I get up the house is still and quiet. I can get more done in an hour than I can attempt in half a day when my family is up and about. So, maybe get up half an hour earlier and see how that works out for you. I think the suggestion on batching and editing/printing photos on the weekend is a great idea. I do that, too, though I don't put a lot of effort in editing. I print and call it good. I allow myself freedom in journaling: some days it a word list, others a few sentences, and others still a page full.
    As far as meal planning, I double the crock pot ingredients for soup and chili, and freeze half for a future meal. I have an extra-large crockpot (http://www.crock-pot.com/Product.aspx?cid=113&pid=400&tab=2) and I can easily prepare two portions at once. At doctor appts and such, I will journal or jot down page ideas on my smart phone. I also practice what I call "container scrapbooking". I DD my project stuff in a basket, and keep it handy on a counter. This saves me time by keeping me limited to what's in the basket, and focused on my project, not distracted by all the possibilities in my stash. Also, it's just pretty doggone convenient. If I travel during December, I just pick up my basket and go. I hope this helps. Congrats on tackling this project...you will be so glad you did. Merry Christmas!

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Renee says…
    11/29/2010

    I don't watch TV. I use the time that I might spend doing other things on the project. Not that I always finish them immediately, but usually by January 1 they are complete. We love to review the albums from years past during the Christmas season. It is a great way to see how the kids have grown.

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  17. Yolanda says…
    11/29/2010

    Most of the time, working on my album is a night time activity for me. I work from home, so my time is flexible, but it’s still occupied. I approach the project by looking for the story of each day. I’m seeking out a moment, an object to photograph, an emotion of the day. Last year I was often surprised by what that story wound up being, such as surprise car failure and tow truck incident. But cars break down, dishwashers go out, someone stays home sick unexpectedly, every year. It’s part of the story. I think that if you are open to simply telling the story of your holiday season, you’ll find the time, even if it comes in three-hour blocks once a week.

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  18. Ellen Coker says…
    11/29/2010

    This is an important question for anything we set out to accomplish! I have decided to not think about perfect pages--just simple completed stories. I could always add decorative details later but photos and story opportunities could be lost if I don't give myself permission to focus on this project each day. The end and the beginning of the day are my favorite times to write so I plan to use those--10 to 15 minutes can be an amazing amount of time. I also plan to just write a story that comes to my mind--even if it is from the past or just a moment from the day--there may not be a photo.

    ***Ali your triathlon experience inspired me. Yesterday I ran my first race ever--the Seattle Marathon. I made a conscious choice to end while I was feeling positive and perky after 21 miles--as I have a more than busy week of training and teaching this week. Best of all I am not stiff and sore today and I am planning for my next marathon. I had a great time and met some wonderful people--and learned about being in a race. I won't need to be so nervous the morning of the race next time!

    Reply 3 Replies
    1. noell says…
      11/29/2010

      That's awesome! [email protected]

    2. Ali says…
      11/29/2010

      Ellen that is so awesome!

    3. Tinka says…
      11/30/2010

      Congratulations...that is such an awesome achievement. I walked a 1/2 marathon at the beginning of November and it was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Mainly because I am a card-carrying sloth and only "trained" once a week...and even then not every week! The crazy thing is that I am actually planning to walk in another 1/2 marathon in March. But this time I will really train for it!

  19. LouAnn says…
    11/29/2010

    My sister-in-law and I are both doing our first DD this year. We got together the day after Thanksgiving late at night and put together our albums. It was a lot of fun and gave us some mommy "down time", and just was an excellent way to fellowship with each other. I can already tell that this will become a new part of our holidays, and I'm very excited.
    I have two teenagers and a 3 and a 1 year old, so I do most of my work at night when my family are ALL sleeping. Finding time during the day is pretty much impossible, but I like the "night time" catch up routine. It works well for me. Kind of lets me decompress too with a cup of iced coffee and the fireplace turned on, you know?

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  20. Tweets that mention December Daily 2010 | Finding Time, Making Time, Trading Time | Ali Edwards -- Topsy.com says…
    11/29/2010

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jess Forster, Josephina Mydreama. Josephina Mydreama said: December Daily 2010 | Finding Time, Making Time, Trading Time: AE December Daily 2009… http://goo.gl/fb/OIkDM [...]

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  21. noell says…
    11/29/2010

    I love how she said it's about "trading time!" It's so true and I'm using that phrase from now on when I talk about "finding" time to do something!

    I front-loaded a lot of my work responsibilities that I normally do in December, and did some of them in November. Also, I already traded time a year ago to allow me to have some personal free time every single day. I only watch about 3 hours of tv a week, max. In my personal time I write, read, scrapbook, learn things I'm interested in, etc. So I'll be trading some of that for my December Daily project this coming month.

    I'm also trading embellishments for simplicity with this project this year, for sure!

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. noell says…
      11/29/2010

      Oh, also, another thing I traded a long time ago that I rarely do anymore -- shopping and thinking about collecting stuff. I go food shopping, but that's about it. I rarely go shopping for non-food items. That has probably saved me hours upon hours! :)

      I think I've been to Target only twice (maybe three times?) in about a year!

    2. Kim N says…
      11/29/2010

      Noell, that is SOOOO true. I gave up shopping after I found how difficult it was to cart my 1 1/2 year old and baby around several years ago... I don't regret it and I don't miss it. I only go grocery shopping and the occasional necessity (this summer it was bra shopping- what a pain!) Not only do you save time but you save a ton of money. My Target bill used to be ridiculous and now it's a fraction of what it had been in the past. It's amazing. And no, nothing took Target's place instead. I just don't go and just don't buy!

  22. Laura D. says…
    11/29/2010

    Last year I journaled every day (in Google Docs, so I could do it on my lunch break at work, if need be) and took pictures every day, but honestly didn't finish putting the album together until the summer. This year I'm going with a much simpler design, which I think will help immensely. Fewer embellishments, doing the journaling and pictures all digitally, but still incorporating gorgeous patterned papers (which is one of my favorite things). I think the simpler you can keep the project, while still having it be fun, will help because it will take less time.

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Louise Dubord says…
    11/29/2010

    Last year, I did the December Daily for the first time... and finished in April!
    Things I will do again : NO RULES, except take pictures everyday and jot notes for the journaling. I do the rest when I CAN, no pressure. If there is pressure, it's not fun. This is supposed to be fun.TAKE IT TO A CROP : I find I can get a lot accomplished and creating with fellow scrapbookers is a huge high. I FINISH WHEN I FINISH, again, there is NO RULE.

    Things I will not do again : Document EVERYTHING!!! Last year, my book was 6 INCHES HIGH! That's silly, it took me forever to finish it. This year, I will try to be more selective. Some days are busy with lots of stuff others are quiet, I will TRY to LIMIT myself to the most important (and keep stuff in reserve for quiet days - Christmas lights, Christmas decorations, etc.).

    Mind you my big album from last year is really a lot of fun to look at and brings back so many good memories... Let the fun begin.

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Christy Miller says…
    11/29/2010

    I need to give up Facebook...seriously! The TV thing isn't a big deal because I can scrap in the dining room and watch TV at the same time. I think I will be journaling everyday in a notebook and then just printing my pics once or twice a week. That way, if a day is a little short on content I can steal journaling or pics from another day.
    Can't wait to get started!

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Emily Kinsaul says…
    11/29/2010

    I loved reading what everyone trades to make time for scrapping. I usually work on my pages after the kids go to bed @8:00pm. To make this work though, I give up watching TV and don't do things that can wait till morning. It's important to me to get that "me time". A little time out makes for a better mommy!

    Reply 0 Replies

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