I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority here (especially if my Facebook feed is any indication!), but I love January. Sure, it’s cold outside, and here in Utah we tend to get socked in by ugly inversions. (I can’t tell you the passionate aversion I have for air pollution), I’m feeling chubby and unmotivated to do anything about it, and I’m missing my flowers. I get why it’s a hard month.
But I still love January, because it’s cold outside, and there’s that ugly inversion, and my yoga pants are awfully comfortable. What’s a girl to do but stay inside? And if I’m staying inside…I might as well make some scrapbook layouts!
It’s been my tradition now for about four years to scrapbook my Christmas layouts in January. Before that, I didn’t ever make a ton of Christmas layouts because I get almost zero scrapbooking done in December. I’m just too anxious about getting ready for Christmas to spend much time creating. And making Christmas layouts in, say, August, just doesn’t feel right, somehow.
But in January, when I’m all nestled into my cozy house, with my memories of Christmas still fresh? That, for me, is the perfect time to scrapbook Christmas.
This year, I decided to do a series on my blog wherein I explore my Christmas in January scrapbooking process. In it, I’ll explore:
- Journaling ideas
- Ways to use up some of your scrapbooking supplies
- New angles on an oft-visited subject
- How to translate a holiday idea onto a non-holiday page (I’m calling this the “Christmas Conversion”)
- Photo suggestions
I also want to end each post with a few take-aways…little pieces of knowledge or suggestions that you can apply not just to Christmas but to many of your scrapbook layouts.
To kick it off, I’m sharing the first Christmas layout I made this January. This is the main layout I made for my son Jake:
I made it first because I was excited to write the journaling! Sometimes it’s hard to write about Christmas because really…what do you say that you haven’t already said? We got up, we saw what Santa brought, we opened presents, we ate a delicious breakfast. The repeating nature of our Christmas traditions is what makes Christmas Christmas. So I try to think about the thing that’s unique to each year and each individual. Funny things that happened, smaller stories within the larger arc of the day, a hope fulfilled (or not), little moments between individuals that develop relationships. Honestly, part of the magic of Christmas for me is watching for those unique experiences.
Watching Jake open his Christmas book and then sit down and immediately read it was one of the highlights of Christmas for me. So I decided to take that moment and expand it—to tell a larger story than only “you loved the book you received.” Instead I wrote about my process of picking the book, and how it reflects on Jake’s stage of life and the meaning that this particular Christmas (he’s a senior in high school this year, so it’s his last “childhood” Christmas) holds.
Supply Tip: last July or August, Studio Calico had a book stamp in one of their kits. I desperately wanted the stamp (since I’m a librarian and a book lover and a writer, it is one I definitely should own!), but I’m not a kit subscriber (I’m just too picky about what I don’t use on my layouts to get much benefit), and it sold out so quickly I didn’t get to buy the individual kit. I still desperately want the stamp, but instead I just bought the digital .png file they also sell. I used it as a sort of template to draw the shelves of books on my layout.
My tip, then, is this: you don’t always have to use a supply, literally, to use the supply. The digital file helped me see how to keep the proportions correct in my little sketch, but in the end it was more an inspired-by than a direct copy.
Supply Challenge: do a little drawing! I am not very good at drawing, sketching, or doodling. But when I give myself the time and encouragement to do it anyway, I tend to love the personal touch my own drawing adds. Mix up the mediums you use for coloring what you draw; on my layout, I used a mix of several different markers and colored pencils.
Christmas Conversion: on any layout, pick the one photo you want to draw the most attention to—your focal point photo—and merge it with the layout’s title. I cropped the picture of Jake reading his book purposefully, so I could add letter stickers in the white space. Repeat one of the design elements you are going to use (here, the shelf of books) with the title and photo, and you create a sense of cohesiveness. This works especially well on two-page layouts.
Do you scrapbook Christmas in January? Do share!