Ah, Document Your December! It is a fantastically crafty and busy time of year! I have created some form of a Document Your December album for several years, and each year embark on the project eager to enjoy the season and capture the memories for my family. I love doing this project even though some years are more successful in their completion than others! Which, honestly is what life is often like…best laid plans sometimes do work out and sometimes there are bumps along the way. Planning how you approach a DYD project can really help with your enjoyment for the process and motivation to stick with it, no matter when you start or finish the documenting (even if your plan is to be spontaneous and not really plan your project out other than just do it!). Whether you are someone who likes to plan out your projects or enjoys the spontaneity of creating on the whim, I think it is a good idea to consider why you are interested in documenting your December. A few questions to ask yourself are: What are my expectations for this project? Why do I want to do this project? What documenting process works best for me? Do you prefer to create something every day, once a week, or collect photos and jot down notes along the way and record them later? Do you prefer a unified look to your projects, limiting yourself to using a few kits or do you prefer using multiple kits and products? Do you want to create each page individually or would you prefer using a template collection for your book? What type of creative personality are you? Are you a planner? Do you like to have everything organized, pages mapped out, lists made and supplies selected before you begin the project? Are you spontaneous? Do you prefer to make your design and subject choices when you sit down to create your pages? Do you let your mood at that moment guide how you document your events? There is no right or wrong answer to these questions! We each have our own styles, process of creation, and methods that work best for us. When you consider why you are doing the project and how you work, it can really help you start, and finish, the book. Some things to consider as you embark on your DYD Project: How will you document your month? Will you follow a theme? Both planners and spontaneous documenting personalities can benefit from outlining what they want to consider in their album as this can help keep you on track and focused when the days get busy and life twists and turns on us! Do you prefer to document the month daily, with a new page for each day? This could be an overview of the day or one particular event from each day. Think of this as a traditional Document your life in December Days themed album. Do you prefer to document only the events that happen through out the month? This could be a December Special Events themed album. Do you prefer to document your traditions? Things such as an annual sleigh ride, annual holiday pageant, annual holiday tree decorating, annual gift exchanges, annual cookie exchanges, annual community service activities, cultural traditions? Things that you do each year, or new traditions you are starting? This could be a December Traditions themed album. Do you prefer to document your Favorite Things in December? This may not be things you do, but things you enjoy…your favorite songs, favorite movies, favorite foods that maybe you only have this time of year, favorite ways to celebrate your season. This could be a Favorites of the Season themed album. Do you prefer to document Decembers past? Memories from your childhood or stories your family members has shared? This could be a great to way document that nostalgia and be a December Memories themed album. Do you prefer to document your favorite foods? You could create a December cookbook and document your favorite recipes with photos of the food/meal, the recipe, why it is a favorite, and any special notes or tips for the food. This could be a December Treats themed album. Do you want to focus on favorite quotes that are meaningful to you? This could be a December Inspirational Quotes themed album. Do you want to focus on the season's fun? Things such as new experiences, things that made you laugh, something that brought you joy, sights, sounds, snowballs or sandcastles, or enjoying a moment? This could be a December Oh What Fun themed album. (And is perfect for The Lilypad's DYD themed collection!) Do you want a cohesive look to your pages? If yes: Consider using a template set to streamline the page layouts for you. Consider using a limited number of kits that coordinate throughout your book. Using one or two elements throughout the book gives a nice repetition that helps the pages flow and maintain a unified look. If no: Consider mixing a variety of templates and kits as you create your pages to suit your mood and feelings you want to convey. In considering your DYD project, remember that it can take many perspectives and can be about anything you wish to document in the month. Interpret the significance of the month as it pertains to you and hopefully you have fun and become engaged in the memory keeping project! No matter what approach you take, or even if you use a mix of planning and spontaneity, we have tips that can help you manage the month, spark inspiration, and allow you to enjoy the moments and document those memories. Map out your album. Planners - determine what subjects/events/topic you want on each page of your album, pre-make your base/foundation pages you all you have to do during the month is add your photos and stories. Spontaneous - go with the flow! let your mood and spur of the moment activities determine what you want to document. Make Lists, and check them twice (unless you are spontaneous) To Do lists: use as prompts for pages in your album Things you want to get accomplished, community service projects to support, gifts to purchase, holiday cards to mail, stores shopped at, grocery shopping items, baking lists, music to listen to, events to attend, crafts to create, people to connect with, books to read Your To Do Lists can be printed ahead of time and you fill them in as you go, or create them as checklists and tic off the items you completed. Top 10 lists: use as prompts for pages in your album Make lists of your favorite things: movies, music, books, tv specials, holiday events, holiday treats, seasonal decorations, presents from holidays past, seasonal memes, seasonal quotes, websites/social media you visit, shopping merchants, craft supplies, games, holiday moments Your Top 10 Lists can be printed ahead of time and you fill them in as as the DYD month progresses. Wish lists: use as prompts for pages in your album Make wish list for yourself, your community, your friends, family, places you want to visit, things you want to do, holiday bucket lists Your Wish Lists can be printed ahead of time and you fill them throughout the month or create them as checklists and tic off the items you completed. Use Prompts for Journaling and Photos. Planners: use prompts for your journaling so that you are all set with a topic or theme you are doing to document. All you need to do is just add the photos and story that relates to the prompt. Spontaneous: you can also use the prompts to spark some documenting ideas throughout your DYD. Use thoughtful journaling questions for yourself, family, and friends. Planners: answer open ended questions about season's past and present and document the responses. This is a good way to become more thoughtful and engage in conversation with others...whether you are having a zoom party, a text conversation, emailing back and forth or contemplating your own feelings during some downtime, a list of questions can help you express your feelings to include in your DYD. Spontaneous: When you think of something, hear a story that resonates with you or want remember an unprompted discussion, document it! Or use the questionnaires as a springboard to inspire your own documenting. There are many more topics for DYD themes, daily topic prompts and thoughtful journaling questions that you can use and the ideas are limitless! If you have some tried and true ideas you've used in the past, feel free to share them and inspire others! The most important thing is that you do something that you enjoy and resonates with you. Happy DYD documenting!