As we get closer to documenting December I've been thinking about what I'm hoping for you (and for me) this year. Here's what's been on my mind lately:
I hope you find a rhythm that works for you. This might be working on your project daily, or a couple times a week, or weekly, or after December. This looks different for each and every one of us based on all kinds of factors including time, lifestyle, motivation, illness, access to a printer, etc. There isn't a right or a wrong way to approach this project. The key is to establish your own rhythm that works for you and stick with it as best as you can (begin flexible when you need to and coming back to it when you can). There is no rule that says you have to be done by the time December is over. I choose that as my personal method because I want/need to be ready to move onto other projects by then.
I hope you know that this project is so much more about the stories you document than the products you use, purchase, or collect. I continue to maintain that the words and the photos are the most important thing - always has been, always will be. I create and sell products to help make the storytelling process easier and more intentional but the heart of all of it are the stories. I hope you will take this as an opportunity to look for and tell those stories that mean the most to you.
I hope you find, as I have over the years, that this project can absolutely be a source of joy in the midst of the chaos of life. One of the reasons I continue to come back to December Daily® again and again is that it's become a touchstone for me in terms of how I experience the season. It helps me keep the focus on the most important things and it helps me look for joy even when I might not be feeling it. When you actively look for joy with an open heart, for things to be thankful for, and for magic in the season you will absolutely find it. Magic is something we make. Remember that the season you are currently in may be different next holiday season - capture what "is" in your life right now with the knowledge that things can, and will, change.
I hope you find that this project is an opportunity to savor the season (and complement it) vs. causing additional stress for yourself. If you find this project is causing you stress I recommend evaluating the source (time, printing issues, motivation, comparison, attitude, etc) and doing something about it. Again, make it work for you. Making it work for you might mean stopping looking at everyone else's project and just getting yours done. It can be way too easy to spend your precious "creating" time watching YouTube videos or scrolling Instagram vs. actually telling your own stories. Making it work for you might mean simplifying your process and letting go of a vision of what you "think" it should be and making it what it needs to be for you instead. Making it work for you might mean working to establish your own version of enough. You don't need to go out and find a hundred extra things during your holiday season just so you have something to document. The small, quiet stories of days at home are beautiful and meaningful.
I hope you find that this project gives you an opportunity to be creative & play & have fun. To play with some products, to reflect on the stories, to find that awesome sweet spot between stories and stuff. Creativity can mean so many different things - from getting really messy with inks and paint to playing with digital products to enlarging photos to crafting your words in a way that tells your most authentic story.
I hope you will remember that it doesn't ever - never ever - need to be perfect. What in the heck does that even mean anyway? What's perfect is an effort: an effort to get down your stories of the season and an effort to create opportunities for yourself and your family to find greater meaning in the season (whatever that looks like for you). I have ten years of albums for a total of 250 stories (one story per day). If I had worried about all those stories and photos and stuff being perfect I never would have gotten any of those stories written down. When I look back through those albums now what I'm most thankful is that I took the time to do it - to experience each season with a focus on looking for and documenting joy and magic and love and collecting them together into something tangible that can be held in our hands. It's never been about creating something perfect - it's always been about creating something that celebrates the season.
I hope this project will connect you with a community of memory keepers who will cheer you on, lift you up, and value your story. One of the side benefits of this project is the community that has built up around sharing our December stories. People from all over the world looking for joy, taking photos, sharing ideas, and valuing their individual story. I also love reading about
I hope you remember that your story is valuable and worth telling no matter your current life situation. No matter what. Your story is worth telling.