Family Scrapbook Tradition



Christmas 2016 is the date of the first scrapbook. That much I know. I asked everyone to either write their favourite thing(s) about Christmas or something you are grateful for on Christmas.  I think my plans were initially to create a book every December holiday we spent together. That changed in 2018 when my sister and her family moved to Dubai in the middle of summer. There was no longer a guaranteed time of year we would be together. And so the tradition pivoted. And I think it’s stronger – and more fun – for that.


Each year I pose a new question to answer. That’s what lives on the first two pages of the book. A little preamble, and the set up. The rest of the book is filled with photos and answers. I have been using our Instax instant camera in order to simplify the project, and ensure it gets completed in a timely fashion. There is no waiting for a photo to develop at a lab, or print at home. The photo is taken as I read the question, and then they fill out the card. Each family member gets to choose their journaling card, and they write their own answer there. I especially like this for the kids because we get to watch their printing and writing as it changes over the years. The final two pages are where I get to be a bit more creative. A bit of shimmer or glitter. A big sticker. I learned from the first year (and from a lot of experience) that flat is best in these types of books.


The layout of the book is much the same as in years past. But the introduction and question has changed of course.

“This past year has no precedence in our lifetimes. But we made it. We overcame obstacles, we saw some wild stuff, and we learned we could do tough and amazing things. This year we answered: What is something I did this year that I am proud of.”

This year’s book makes six in total. Six years. Wow. Wowzas.


1. You can start a tradition any time. Like, literally. Today is a great day to start that family scrapbooking tradition you’ve always wanted. You haven’t missed anything. Don’t lament about the memories you haven’t captured. Get excited about all the memories you are going to capture

2. Keep it simple so you are more likely to finish it. Making a formula to follow every time helps. If you think that will make it boring, change up something within the formula – colour or pattern of paper, order of photos, one or two more “creative” pages – but keep the main outline of the book the same.

3. Keep it flexible so it can change if your life changes. My sister moved halfway across the damn world and we still make this work.

2 thoughts on “Family Scrapbook Tradition

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