May’s Solution for Ho-Hum Holiday Scrapping

I love scrapbooking special events. It was summer vacations that I first started scrapbooking as a kid, and holidays, vacations, and big events (weddings, babies) tend to be the introduction of most people I know into this fabulous hobby. That said, one of the more common things I hear about holiday scrapbooking is that it’s dull, or that people aren’t sure how to keep it fresh or interesting.

First and foremost, I think letting go of expectation, and anticipating having a good time with your photos and memories is key. Embrace each year as unique, and let yourself do what you’d like – whether that’s just one layout recapping it all, or many layouts detailing your holiday season (or something in between). There are no scrapbook police who will fine you if you don’t have enough meaningful details, a minimum amount of pages, or a certain number of photos scrapbooked.

Second, it’s important to realize that every year is more different than you realize. In my family, we skipped a lot of our usual traditions (hosting parties, baking, etc) in favor of a trip to Disney World earlier this month. This means I will have a lot fewer traditional holiday pages- and that’s ok too! Your holiday season might not be drastically different from last year, but each year is unique and different with it’s own memories to capture.

Having trouble with journaling or figuring out what to scrapbook about this holiday season? I have some suggestions:

  • Compare/contrast this year to a previous year.
  • Ask family members what their favorite (gift, food, event, detail, tradition) is this year.
  • Journaling can be light! Not really feeling up to entire stories? That’s OK! Make things more photo or embellishment focused.
  • Focus in on older traditions. Document them and what they mean to you (from doing puzzles to cooking specific foods to activities or places you visit).
  • Take a news story approach. Detach a bit, and tell all about your special event or family gathering.
  • Record a story that always gets brought up or thought of this time of year.
  • Put a bit of extra effort into embellishing! Like your home decor, perhaps this is a time of year to step up the fun!
  • Focus on a few small details: the decor, the food, a specific game you play, or anything else very particular to December.
  • Focus less on the actual holiday or big gathering, and more on smaller events and special details surrounding the season!

If you feel like every year you do the same thing, that there just isn’t anything new to scrap and you’ve told every possible story then I have three suggestions. First – look at the differences. Who isn’t here? What did or didn’t you do? Second- start something new! If you truly do the exact same thing with the same people every year, aren’t you bored? Mix it up! Then document the new, and share if you think it’ll become tradition! Finally, consider saving photos but not scrapbooking one year. This might seem odd coming from me – but if you’re just really not wanting to document one year, then just let it go!!

I have not missed scrapbooking a Christmas in the last decade, but my number of pages widely vary from just one, to many. One thing that never changes is my deep love for all things Christmas, especially scrapbook supplies! I especially love supplies that can be used beyond the holidays (just in case I over-purchase!) Today I have a new layout to share with you using all kinds of fun stuff:

With the decorations in full swing, I know that our “in place of gifts and many regular traditions” pre-Christmas Disney World trip is going to use up some lovely red & green supplies. I had such a blast pulling this together – and making the opening page to my vacation album all at the same time!


The Girls’ Paperie Tinsel & Twig patterned paper
The Girls’ Paperie Tinsel & Twig letter stickers
Elle’s Studio ( journaling papers
American Crafts Dear Lizzy Christmas Collection Felt Pieces
Studio Calico Elementary Collection Notions – Vintage Pattern Flowers
Tim Holtz flourish stamp
Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Forest Moss
CatsLife Press date stamp
Making Memories Noel Collection Trims
Making Memories Paper Reverie Trims in Sienne
Core’dinations cardstock
unknown pom and lace trims, rhinestone, sequin

Before you write off the holiday season as a time to not scrapbook, or as something that’s “been done”, I hope you’ll reconsider. Looking back on scrapbooks of years past to see classic family gatherings (and not-so-traditional ones), and reminiscing, is a favorite Christmas tradition of mine – and one that wouldn’t be possible if not for my creative time and love for the season.

If you have a favorite holiday detail you like to scrapbook, or a tip for staying inspired, please feel free to share it with us all in the comments!


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6 Responses to May’s Solution for Ho-Hum Holiday Scrapping

  1. TracyBzz December 23, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    Take inspiration from Stacy’s LOM system and save some holiday photos to combine together in the future. For example save a photo from a tradition each year, like baking cookies, and in 5 years combine those 5 photos on one page. You’ll literally see you kids grow and also see if the cookies stay the same, or if you still use the same bowl etc. This is a fun way to capture the tradition of something without feeling “but I’ve made a layout about Christmas cookies for the last 4 years, nothing changes, it’s boring.”

    Or take a tradition or thing (such as an ornament) and tell the story behind it. This doesn’t have a ‘Christmas 2010’ label, just a fun Christmas memory label.

  2. Candy December 23, 2010 at 2:19 pm #

    May, you make really good points in this posting. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

  3. Michelle Salazar December 24, 2010 at 7:24 am #

    Merry Christmas May . . . since there is just the two of us most years we don’t have many Christmas photos!

  4. Lisa Williams December 24, 2010 at 8:31 am #

    Thanks for the advice and inspiration! Have a great Christmas!

  5. Jersey Girl Anne December 24, 2010 at 11:31 pm #

    I love all your suggestions. I personally do not have a problem scrapping Christmas every year but I will try some of your” new” ways just to change it up a bit! Merry Christmas!!

  6. Lyneen December 27, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    What a wonderful idea… spending the holidays in a non-traditional way… love how you used the colors of Christmas in a non-traditional way to give the pages a Christmas feeling.

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