Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Why I Journal Our Decembers

Every year around this time I get ready to start a Christmas journal, more specifically a 'Tis the Season Gadanke journal. I usually get near to the end of November and then think about my Christmas journal, realise I don't have one and get one rushed to me just in time for 1st December.

This year I am prepared! I have this year's on the kitchen counter, ready to go and my eldest asked me yesterday what it was. I told him that I use it to record all the wonderful things we tend to do as a family during December; I write little notes, put photos in and record the details. It's become a tradition, and as my sons get older they'll add to it themselves.

"I've been doing one every year for the last few years. You can look at them later if you like," I told him. His eyes lit up.

"Really? That would be cool!" he said.

My children, as most children do I think, love looking at photos of themselves when they were little(r). And that's the moment when I remembered exactly why I spend time in December capturing both the special and the ordinary moments.

My boys are growing fast - the rolls of baby fat are long gone, the high chair has no place at our Christmas table anymore and whether Sinterklaas exists is now a question on my eldest child's lips. In short, every December we have together is different.

December is evolving as we grow as a family. One day our Decembers will look so different, one day when my children have families of their own. But meanwhile, these are our Decembers to share - and I'm making the most of them, every smile and squeal of joy.

December is a mad month, easily the busiest month of the year. First we have the build up to Sinterklaas arriving in the Netherlands (he gets here this Saturday) and as soon as he heads back to Spain with his helpers our attention turns full on to Christmas. December is a mad month - but also an incredibly wonderful one so capture it.

Every year I create our own advent calendar which comprises 24 envelopes with something sweet and edible and an activity which we then do that day. Because things at school are already hectic enough for my children I tend to go for quiet, calming activities during the week. Think things like a Christmas story by candlelight or simply eating by candlelight, or donating food to a local cause or making a present for a loved one. Other days we go to a Christmas market or fair or bake mince pies or pepernoten. This year a traditional, British pantomime will be on December's list (watch out for a future post on this!).

So, there are lots of moments to capture, lots of fun to record for later years, and lots of photos to take to remind us of precious times. Lot to be thankful and grateful for.

And on top of all that the Gadanke Christmas journals contain writing prompts that make me think about the smells, the sights, the sounds, the feelings of the festive season - and of course the tastes of December! And there are lots of other little bits and pieces which will make the creatives amongst you squeal with joy. Gadanke is also a great place to go for journaling inspiration, including workshops, prompts and ideas to spice up your pages.

Oh how I love December!

How do you capture your December memories? Do you journal at this time of year?

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