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December Daily® 2023 | Special Guest Zoe Kennedy

Hi everyone! Zoe here. This will be my ninth year participating in December Daily and even after eight years it continues to be my absolute favourite project. I remember when I first discovered December Daily in 2015, I felt a little overwhelmed as to where to start and what to do. For me it made sense to follow along closely with Ali’s process. That way I could enjoy playing with the product and telling my stories without getting stuck on what each layout needed to look like. 

One thing I have included in all of my December Daily albums has been an ‘Intentions’ or ‘Reason Why’ page. Over the years I have found that beginning my album this way allows me to reflect on what I’m hoping for for the upcoming season and what I want to focus on during a time that can often feel quite busy and overwhelming. I don’t know about you, but when I receive all of the new December Daily products, and I’ve opened them all up and sorted them and enjoyed them for how beautiful they all are, I tend to feel a little bit like ‘Okay, what now?’. This is exactly what happened this year when I first sat at my desk to begin my album. 

I know you’re probably thinking, ‘It’s October, that’s a little early to start’. Well due to the fact that we have baby two due in the first week of December, I figured the more time I can spend working on my album and building foundation pages now, the better chance I have at getting it finished while still enjoying the process. 

So, after I sorted all my new goodies I began thinking about my ‘Reason Why’ for this year and I thought what better place to start than to look back on all the ones in my previous albums. This is the first time since beginning this project that I’ve looked at these pages in sequence, and for me, it was quite an emotional experience. 

Being my first year, the intentions page for my 2015 album was almost identical to Ali’s. I used wood veneer stars from my stash but kept the layout the same. One thing I noticed and really liked about my earlier intentions pages was that they included words that I wanted to focus on, as well as a song that captured the mood for the season. 

2016 was a similar page to the previous year however I wanted to experiment with stamping more in this album so chose to use one of the December Daily stamp sets to create my title. 

2017 was a tough year. I lost my mum in June and wasn’t sure I had it in me to celebrate the season let alone document it. Mum absolutely loved Christmas, so after a bit of thinking I came to the conclusion that if she could talk to me right now, she’d tell me to do it, and to be happy doing it. So, I did. I used my intentions page to document how I was feeling about entering December, and how I was going to be approaching my journaling for the month. The design of the page also shows I was beginning to experiment with more crafty elements. I do believe the circle design was scrap-lifted from a fellow December Daily participant, but I unfortunately can’t find who they are to credit them. If it was you, thank you!  

2018 was the first year I deviated from the 6x8 album and chose to work in the 4x4 album that Brandi Kincaid had designed for Ali’s kids kit that year. I found this size really fun! And I was able to complete my pages relatively quickly while still being ‘crafty’. My intentions page was super simple. I used a template from Brandi Kincaid and wrote my hopes in a way that to me feels a little more ‘poetic’ perhaps than it had previously. 

My 2019 ‘Reason Why’ is one of my favourites. Not because of the design, which I do still love, but because it marks a change. This is the year I met my future husband. Reading this I remember how incredibly happy I was to have found someone to share this season with, and how excited I was to document the season not only from my point of view, but from his as well. 

This is what I love so much about this project. It captures exactly where you are in life and gives an insight into your thoughts and feelings at the time. To me, my 2020 ‘Reason Why’ is pure happiness. It reflects the season of life that I was in and shows how excited I was for what was to come. It’s also funny to see how I wrote about it being our last Christmas before we became a family of three, when in fact baby ended up arriving Christmas Eve so it was in fact our first Christmas as a family of three!

As you can see, the last few years I really enjoyed creating my ‘Reason Why’ page on a smaller insert or tag shape. Spoiler alert, I still love this, and you may see it again this year. This year my journaling was significantly longer than it has been in the past, which is likely due to the fact that it was my first Christmas as a mum. My journaling has changed from what I want for myself this season, to what I want this season to be for my family. My whole outlook changed and I love how this project captures that shift.       

I absolutely loved the design Ali used for the ‘Reason Why’ page in her 2022 December Daily album, so decided to replicate it in mine. Reading this back, I can just sense the excitement and happiness I was feeling at the time as I got ready to experience this season with my two-year-old who was now able to share in my delight for all things Christmas. How things have changed since my first entry in my 2015 album, and how grateful I am to compare the words I wrote almost ten years ago, to the ones I’m writing today.  

I really hope you’ve enjoyed looking back through my past ‘Reason Why’ pages as much as I have. I love this project so much because it gives a true snapshot of what life is like at the same time each year. These albums are already treasured by me and my family, and I know that as the years pass, they will become even more special. I am so thankful for Ali for creating this project and for helping me tell our Christmas stories.

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7 thoughts

  1. bookemper says…
    10/17/2023

    Zoe,
    What a great look through your reason why’s. I always enjoy your albums. I believe it was your album that inspired me to use the font that I have used in my past few albums.
    Thanks for sharing and for the inspiration.
    Janet

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. mum2boys says…
    10/18/2023

    Zoe, thank you for sharing your reason's why. I like that you've tried different styles, fonts and sizes over the years. I have tended to write very similar intentions each year. I'm going to try change it up this year. I'm intending on writing mine in October also.
    Michelle (from P.F. Vic )

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Queen_Mary says…
    10/18/2023

    What an absolute treat! thank you!

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. AliEdwards says…
    10/18/2023

    Loved this post! Thank you Zoe!

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. carrieW says…
    10/18/2023

    What a fun post-thanks Zoe!

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. ScrappinMyHeartOut says…
    10/18/2023

    Your opening pages are so heart-warming. Loved looking through them, thank you!

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. justlisa says…
    01/07/2024

    Your album is really beautiful .

    Reply 0 Replies

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