December 1st

To me December 1st has always marked the beginning of the Christmas season. We put up our tree on the weekend closest to December 1st and I always try to get my Christmas cards send out around now. This year it means three new things for our festive celebrations:

1) A new Advent Calendar and tradition.

Since Grayson is old enough now to grasp the idea behind the calendar, I decided to make one that we could use for a few years. I came up with this one after seeing versions of it online and at craft shows. (*You can get How-To instructions over at Sharing Memories Scrapbooking as part of our 12 Days of Christmas feature!) Each day I plan to have him remove the daily magnet (where treats will be waiting of course!) and then we will spend a little bit of time with this book:
I picked it up at Chapters a few weeks ago and I am excited that each day has a bible verse, story, activity and prayer. I think it will be a good introduction to the real meaning of Advent for Grayson. And I hope our little daily ritual will be a restful moment in what are sure to be busy days ahead.
2) We have a new visitor in our house until Christmas…the Elf on the Shelf!
I wrote about him awhile back, and even though he arrived at our house in November, he somehow got out of his box, flew up the stairs and settled himself where he can keep an eye on us to report back to Santa. Apparently each night he flies back to the North Pole, reports to Santa on how naughty or nice we have all been and then flies back to our house and finds a new spot to sit in for the next day! He can’t talk, but he sure is a good listener. We named him George. Oh, and we can’t touch him otherwise his magic powers might dissappear! Cool, huh?

Grayson spotted George first thing this morning, so I think this will be a very fun little game each day. Hopefully it will also help when G.’s behaviour gets a little challenging…I hope to just be able to say “Grayson, George is watching”!

3) Inspired by the fab Ali Edwards, it’s time to start filling up my December Daily Album. This is my first year doing it and although I love the idea of documenting the days leadinng up to Christmas, I have to say that with two craft shows and my 12 Days project on the website, I am not going to beat myself up if I don’t get a page done each day! I plan to write on my blog or use the journal function of my new Cozi calendar to record things I don’t want to forget, take a few pictures each day and then use the page plan and date circles I designed back in November to put the pages together quickly. I have precut my 8 x 8 pages and the strips of patterned paper that I plan to add as embellishments. My album is covered, but the title isn’t done, but that can be done after a bit of the initial December craziness has died down. I have it all packed in a handy little case along with some adhesive so I can put a page together whenever I find myself with a free minute. HAH!

Besides being inspired by Ali, here are a few of my favorite December Daily albums from around the web:

Molly Irwin – her work is so beautiful. It feels peaceful.
Lisa Kisch – so fun, bright and cheery!
Lisa Day – one of my favorite scrappers is doing a Christmas Memories album that I love!
Cathy Zielske – has some amazing digital templates for recording Holiday Memories – easy peezy!

Hope they inspire you too!

Well, I’m off and running. Check back throughout the next 24 days to see if I keep up with my self-imposed crazy schedule!

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