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Story Themes in December Daily

This is one of my favorite yearly scrapbooking projects. The premise is to tell one story every day in December from the 1st to the 25th. Sometimes I’m a rebel and tell more that one story, but I figure that it’s my album, and if I want to break the rules, I can.

In preparation for December Daily 2019, I went back through my past three albums to look for themes that I want to make sure I repeat this year. Theme repetition allows for threads of continuity to show up in these albums year over year. It shows how traditions emerge and evolve, what events have become important to me and my family, and how the same events can have important differences as the years pass. Here are some themes that I noticed as I looked back over my albums.

Theme 1: Getting the Tree

My husband and I have a tradition of going “tree hunting”, where we get a permit from the National Forest office, and go select, and cut down our own tree. The tree always ends up looking a bit Charlie Brownesque due to the fact that it grew in the woods and not at a perfectly manicured farm, but it’s all part of the charm. I normally document this in the first few days of December, because if we wait much later, there is too much snow in the mountains to drive up to acquire a tree. Last year’s album had a very important difference, in that our new baby, Henry, got to join in on the “fun”. He was just over two months old and bundled up in pretty much all of his clothes, but he was there, AND he made it onto the 2018 December Daily tree page.

Theme 2: Movies

For the past three years, movies from the Star Wars and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them sagas have featured in my December Daily. In fact, I often reference my albums when I want to remember when a specific Star Wars film came out, because really, if it doesn’t make it into December Daily, it didn’t happen.

Theme 3: Family

We live far away from all of our family, so we often have visitors for the holidays. It is fun to document these visits year over year to see how visiting family members are incorporated into our own little family traditions such as taking hikes in the snow and decorating the tree. I also find myself including reflective entries relating to family members who are no longer with us, and how that impacts our holiday season.

Theme 4: Getting Outside

We love to be outside, and having a baby has not changed this. We just drag him along. He even seems to like it most of the time. Inevitably, there will be at least one story in December Daily about us doing something outside. Be it a hike at our local St. Edwards State Park, or a snowshoe adventure at Mount Rainier, you can bet you will find layouts of us bundled up and braving the elements in every album.

Theme 5: Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

We are not big church goers, but we do attend services on Christmas Eve at the Episcopal cathedral downtown. It is a tradition we began with Tom’s mom before she passed away, and one that we have continued, even with tiny three month old Henry last year. Since it’s a tradition, it had been documented in my past three December Daily albums.

Of course, I also have to document Christmas Day! Presents! The possibility of snow! Coffee! Now that we have Henry in our lives, Christmas Day will be forever changed. I can’t wait to see how the traditions, and the layouts that follow, will continue to evolve over the years.

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