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.

9. SPEND THE TIME YOU MIGHT BE SURFING AROUND FOR INSPIRATION WORKING ON YOUR PROJECT. I know how it goes. Trust me, I know.

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!


TODAY'S POST SPONSORED BY | The Daily Digi

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.

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106 thoughts

  1. rhonda says…
    12/01/2011

    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!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Raylene says…
      12/01/2011

      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 says…
    12/01/2011

    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!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Paula in Australia says…
    12/01/2011

    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.

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Mellie J says…
    12/01/2011

    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!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Gina Baj says…
    12/01/2011

    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!

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Ann House says…
    12/01/2011

    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!

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Danielle Taylor says…
    12/01/2011

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

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Danielle says…
    12/01/2011

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

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. scrappysue says…
    12/01/2011

    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!

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Cherri Engle says…
    12/01/2011

    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...

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Marilyn says…
    12/01/2011

    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!

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Estellita says…
    12/01/2011

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

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Donna Bess says…
    12/01/2011

    I'm ready! I can't wait!

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Thea Monks says…
    12/01/2011

    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.

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Jane says…
    12/01/2011

    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.

    *sigh*

    Reply 6 Replies
    1. Jane says…
      12/01/2011

      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.

    2. Ali says…
      12/01/2011

      ACK! How about a phone camera?

    3. Nathalie Hardy says…
      12/01/2011

      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?

    4. kelly libby says…
      12/01/2011

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

    5. Nathalie Hardy says…
      12/02/2011

      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?

    6. Jane says…
      12/02/2011

      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. says…
    12/01/2011

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

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Janette says…
    12/01/2011

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

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Jenni Hufford says…
    12/01/2011

    thanks for these tips-- super helpful!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Kathleen Desio says…
    12/01/2011

    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 :-)

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Lorette C says…
    12/01/2011

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

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Leah Burgett says…
    12/01/2011

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

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Flavia says…
    12/01/2011

    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!

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. kelly libby says…
      12/01/2011

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

    2. Flavia says…
      12/02/2011

      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 says…
    12/01/2011

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

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Therese says…
    12/01/2011

    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.

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. [email protected] says…
    12/01/2011

    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!

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Nathalie Hardy says…
      12/01/2011

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

    2. kelly libby says…
      12/01/2011

      great idea!!!

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