it’s november 16th…two weeks before the start of december. this time last year i was getting supplies together for my december daily album. this time last year i was feverishly pinning ideas for said album. brainstorming cover designs and putting together foundation pages. but not this year. because i am not doing a ‘december daily’ album this year…at least not in the current sense of the term.
here’s the thing about having a gratitude practice…it sort of puts everything into perspective. even scrapbooking.
in case you’re curious, i came to this decision on my way home from work on wednesday. i had almost pulled the trigger on the ali edwards december daily kit pre-order that morning. but i stopped short, giving myself the day to think about it…if it was something i really wanted to do. if it was something i realistically had time to do.
before i continue, i would like to apologize…i feel like lately i have sounded like a broken record. going on and on about time like i have for the past couple of months. and i’m sure the last thing you really want to read about it is the scrapbooking angst of a strung-out working mom. but i’m sharing this because it’s real life. my real, messy life. and i want to be honest – not only with myself but with you as well.
anyway, like i said…i thought about this december daily thing for the better part of the day. in my mind i was envisioning my little album with all my pictures and doodads. all those adorable wood veneer numbers and cute phrase stickers. it sounds awesome right?
but all too often, the reality of a december daily album looks more like me hunched over my desk at 11:00 at night trying to get my printer to work. or agonizing over the perfect placement of an embellishment. sometimes the reality of my december is being so exhausted and creatively drained that i lose all semblance of christmas spirit.
trust me when i tell you that no one can suck the joy right out of christmas like me trying to make things special.
so all afternoon i kept thinking about ways that i could adjust my schedule or move things around in my life to accommodate a december daily album. what could i let go or how could i streamline my schedule to make time for this scrapbook. but sitting at the stop light at 4th and cincinnati, it dawned on me. why am i trying to make my life work for a scrapbook? shouldn’t it be the other way around? shouldn’t a scrapbook work for me?
and here’s the other thing that has been circling around in my head…this is kelsey’s last christmas break. more than likely, this is the last year that she will have this time off – at least in the traditional, academic sense of the word. and please, i swear that i am not saying this to be all maudlin and dramatic. but it does cause me to mindful of the present and time that we’ll have together this year. really….the question for me is how do i want to spend my time this christmas? memory keeping? or memory making?
please…i know…don’t say it. only i could overthink a scrapbook to this degree. and it is interesting to me how hard saying no to something is. especially something that i enjoy. clearly my word for the year – pare – is still a work in progress. but it is time for me to put my grown-ass, big girl panties on get real. get real about time. get real about what’s important. get real about Who is important. because the real meaning of christmas has nothing to do with a product line or a page protector.
at the end of the day it just. doesn’t. matter. ten years from now, no one will give two shits about what kind of ablum or washi tape or letter stickers i used to document the holidays. and i can say this from personal experience. i have almost 20 years of scrapbooks and each time i look through them, what i care about are the people and the memories.
i don’t need a $100 scrapbook kit to help me find the magic and joy in christmas. through eyes of faith and a lens of gratitude, i can do this all on my own.