DECEMBER MEMORY KEEPING AND WHY I QUIT “DECEMBER DAILY”
I started writing this Blog in December of 2021, but I never posted it. Now it’s creeping up on December 2022, and I find that I am feeling all the same feelings. I know that the tradition of creating a “December Daily” is something that is important to many folks in the crafting, scrapbooking, and journaling spheres. As always, I would encourage anyone who is feeling “meh” about it, to critically examine why that is. And if there are better uses of your time and energy (and money!) in celebrating this season. It’s okay to let traditions go if they are no longer serving us, no longer align with our values, or make us downright cranky.
We’re all friends here right? I can be honest without y’all judging me too hardly?
I hate this project.
Yes, I realize that “hate” is a strong word, but the more I think about it (and try to write this blog) the more I am being honest with myself. A “December Daily” is a habit I have been trying to build for many years. And I don’t think it serves me anymore. December 2022 might be months and months away, but I think this is the year I let it go.
KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM MY 2021 DECEMBER DAILY
Say I was to try this again for next December. Here are some of my key takeaways from how the project went in 2021 (and some reasons that I want to cut this tradition off).
- I didn’t print my photos often enough, and trying to play catch up all the time was exhausting
- I printed too many photos and tried to tell too many stories
- I didn’t have the finished product in mind when I started, so there was no cohesive theme and the size of the book didn’t make sense
- I wasn’t thinking sustainability, not just over the course of the month, but over the life of this book: where was the album going to live, why was I doing this project, what did I really want to share and with who
- I don’t have time to spend on this! aka I didn’t make time, but also making time was not a priority
- The “professional” December Daily albums I see on social media and websites continue to set unrealistic targets, and encourage careless consuming within a craft that I no longer find myself fitting in to
WHAT’S NEXT FOR DECEMBER MEMORY KEEPING?
The answer to this might honestly be “nothing” and I’ve got some time to come to terms with that. January has always been a powerful month for me creatively-speaking. This is when I start my goal setting and word planning. Having an unfinished “December Daily” hanging over my head is depressing and zaps my energy and excitement for the new year.
Perhaps instead I can focus my December creative energy on preparing for Yule, and building my intentions for the new calendar year. I have excised many Christmas traditions from my life since leaving my ex. Perhaps 2022 is the year I have time and space to build a few new ones.
And so now that it is actually December 2022, and I realize that I can breathe a sigh of relief that I am not prepping for a memory-keeping project that I don’t want in my life, I can focus on building other traditions. Ones that are more in line with my interests and values. This might be a lonely time for me, as many of the folks I interact with are Christmas-obsessed. The way Christmas has morphed into this uber-capitalist holiday, where it seems like the only socially acceptable ways to celebrate – and document those celebrations – are with shiny and fervent commercialism, actually makes me very angry. I continue to address those feelings, while I untangle myself from them and search for folks who feel the same. I’ve also been thinking about hosting more community-minded options to celebrate the end of the year. Y’all I just want to sing traditional Christmas carols, light some candles, and eat warm food in the company of non-assholes…is that so impossible?!
FURTHER READING AND RESOURCES
All of my December Daily posts from my old blog are linked here. There aren’t that many! I have always struggled with this project. In fact, here are some more DEEP THOUGHTS on the pressure of a December Daily. And finally, because some folks really dig this tradition, a little background and intro from the creator of December Daily – Ali Edwards – is here.