Saturday Play Day.

Yay! It’s Saturday. I say get your chores done and then carve out some time to play.

I have learned that the holidays can either be the most joyful time of year, or the most stressful. I can choose to look at my various lists as stressful preparations or I can simply flip a mental switch and choose to see those preparations as joyful anticipations that bring an indescribable magic into my home. And yes, I believe it really is as simple as choosing to see differently.

The *extrememly easy* project I introduced to you in my Thursday post is designed to help you flip that switch, remember the simple joys of seasons past and recreate those feelings again.


This little 4×6 Memory Advent album will give you a daily dose of holiday memories to remind you that our lists stem from the LOVE we have for our families and the meaning of Christmas.

Most 4×6 photo albums have 26 two-sided pages. These pages will easily display …


*24* photos from Decembers past, sandwiched between *1* current family photo and *1* final snapshot. The cover of your photo album will feature a frame of some kind and the very first page will display a quote about Christmas.

Begin, by slipping your 24 photos (in random order) into the right side of each two-page spread as you flip through your album. On the opposite side, insert a 4×6 piece of pattern paper. DO NOT make this step more difficult than it needs to be. Pretty please, don’t try and *order* your photos or your papers.

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I chose one “Christmas” photo from Geoff’s past and one photo from mine for the first two pages. I slipped the other 22 photos into my album in perfectly random order.

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PLEASE note that these are very everyday, ordinary snapshots. This album is NOT about displaying your best photos. It is about displaying some of your best memories triggered by very everyday, ordinary snapshots.

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This *Memory Advent* is about counting each day with a memory of some specific event, some little detail or some annual tradition.


This *Memory Advent* is about YOU looking back at the perfection in imperfect moments, captured in imperfect light by an imperfect photographer.

So, you might be asking where the actual memories come into play? Great question.


In addition to 24 photos, you will need 24  pieces of white cardstock (3 1/2″ x 6″) with a tab on top.


These memory cards slip into your *Memory Advent* behind each piece of pattern paper. As you count down the days to Christmas, you will remove one memory card and write on it. Once a memory has been recorded, you’ll slip the memory card back into the album on top of the piece of pattern paper. You get to choose when and how you you record your daily memories. Perhaps you’ll gather as a family first thing in the morning or just before bed; maybe you’ll pull aside one or two family members at different times during the day. You might talk together about the memory you’ll write or allow one person to voice a specific recollection triggered by the daily photo. You might assign one family scribe or take turns writing out each memory.

HOW you carry out and use  your *Memory Advent* is entirely up to you!

I found the little felt frame on the front of my album in the dollar section of Target last year. You could make your own, or use some other little frame. I created a very basic pdf file that features both text for a cover title and quote for your title page. I’m still trying to figure out how to attach this pdf to my post. I’ll keep working on that and get it to you somehow! If you know how to post a pdf to your wordpress blog — by all means, leave me a comment.

BONUS project.


I’m always learning from my mistakes. When I sat down to create my original set of pattern paper pages, I attached a chipboard number to each one, not realizing that the added thickness of 24 *thick* numbers would NOT fit in my little photo album.


I decided to turn these adorable little pages into an *Activity Advent* that I will use to schedule FUN “things to do” with my children.



I simply adhered each piece of pattern paper to a white cardstock, stiched around the edges and attached a small envelope to the back. Punch a hole in one corner and slip them onto a BIG binder ring and you’ve got an adorable companion piece to your photo album.


I will fill each envelope with something to do, from calling a family member to reading a specific story or baking a treat. You get the idea!


I’m loving both of my little advents and am now filled with happy anticipation of December first!

Leave me a comment, ask me a question … OR just get busy and have fun playing with this idea.


  1. Margaret C says:

    I am so going to do this THIS year!! How fun!!! Will also stock up on a couple of albums to make as gifts for others – thanks Stacy, another gift tussle off the list !! XX

  2. cindy barriga says:

    This is perfect for me. I think I might even make these as gifts for my family! Thanks. :D

  3. Oh this is exactly what I needed to get in the spirit! Thanks Stacy

  4. AWESOME!!

  5. Thanks Stacy! This is a wonderfully simple and doable little project to get us into the holiday spirit!

    I will get right on it!

  6. Ohhhh!! i love it – I know what im going to be doing today!!

  7. This is fantastic! I’ve already begun gathering my photos and picked and cut my pattern papers and am ready to roll. My little Target album has been tucked away waiting for this day to be revealed! Stacy, you rock!

  8. Yeah!! So fun. I think I’ll just use a little album I have on hand to save some $. I’m loving the simplicity and the meaningfulness. The bonus is awesome too. Thank you!!!

  9. Thank you! My boys and I have had fun picking out the pictures to use, and I realized I have several family Christmas traditions we need to take photos of this year.

  10. This is the perfect project to do today! Thanks for the idea Stacy!

  11. Are we recording a memory that goes with the picture or something from the present season?

    • Caroline,
      Great question. I’m thinking I’ll just see what is triggered. I think some days we’ll do this as a family all together and other days it might just be me and my two younger sons. I think you could do either way — a memory specific to the picture, or a memory that is somehow connected, but maybe not obvious!

  12. Thank you for a wonderful idea. I think you solved my problem with what to give to those “who has it all”.

  13. I LOVE IT!!!! Thanks so much!

  14. Thank you Stacy for sharing this idea! I have been wanting to scrapbook, but in recently moving, getting ready for the holidays, work, etc., I have put this on hold. This is exactly what I need to get back to scrapbooking in a FUN and SIMPLE way. I am thinking I might even do this with this Christmas year.

  15. I am so glad I picked up that album when you told us to! What a fabulous idea! Off to my category drawers!

  16. I’ve got mine just about finished. Can you post pics of your title page and ending? Love this idea and I can’t wait to try this for other pics.

  17. Stacy, you are truly amazing. I love this idea!!!! I will spend the next thirty minutes that I have free (yeah me) making this wonderful album. I have to say when I was looking at your pictures the stockings made me go “Wow, I love those! Where did she get them? I wonder if my husband would be okay with non-traditional colors?” Those are some of my favorite colors!!! Thank you again for an easy album idea.

  18. Great ideas. I absolutely LOVE the second idea – I’m so doing this for Advent if I only can find time in a busy pre-advent schedule… (and if not, I’m doing it for next year). :D

    Happy celebrating!

  19. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful project with us!

  20. Michele May says:

    So cute & uncomplicated. I love the idea of using a random assortment of pictures. Thanks!

  21. What a great idea!! I can’t wait to play with both the album and the tags tonight after the kids go to bed. Thanks for all the great ideas.

  22. I was thinking about how I wanted to do this project … I have come up with letting my kids and husband help me pick out their favorite pictures from Christmas’ past. I am going to assemble the album with the papers and tabs together and then I will gather my pictures into one place and then let everyone one thumb through the pics and pick out their favorites. This will be family event on the first or so of December to really get into the spirit of Christmas. Hopefully this helps.

  23. GREAT IDEA!!!!!!!!!!

  24. I love the advent album! My husband and I don’t have kids so, although I love the 25 Days Til Christmas type albums, I just don’t have anything fun and Christmassy for the 25 days preceding Christmas. It would just be a lot of work and grad school-related photos (not so festive). But I love the idea of a mini album full of all our happy Christmases past: the year we hung ornaments from our bed because we couldn’t afford a tree, the year I got sick as a dog for Christmas, the first Christmas with our nephew, etc. I am so going to make this! Thanks, Stacy!

    • See? It’s so true that the past fuels the present with happiness — if we honor it. I can totally picture ornaments hung on a bed — so early marriage!

  25. This is fantastic! Stacy, you have the BEST ideas!

  26. Andrea MacDonald says:

    I love it! I am off to try some stuff of my own!!!!

  27. Nicky Brown says:

    Perfect!!! And easy to do!!! I love Ali Edwards’ “December Daily” but have been hesitant to do it. This album has many more possibilities for me and my style of scrapbooking! Thanks you for sharing!

  28. I love this project! Can you tell me which papers you used? Which company?

  29. Great ideas as always. The Advent ring is so simple yet so fantastic that I am including it as one of the project options (minus the Advent part) in the World History class that I teach. Theme: 25 things about the Middle Ages. Even my most challenged and phobic students can use this format to organize and present information in a way that looks sophisticated. Love your ideas!

  30. i love this idea and you’ve got me thinking about ways to adapt for another project i want to do (for my nephew) – this reminds me of your first book Simple Scrapbooks – i just love it – thank you!

  31. Lynn Altomari says:

    Absolutely love this idea!!!! I was not around yesterday but will work on it today and then on Wednesday when I have the kids home with me! I may do one with the numbers for each of them

    Thank you!!!

  32. Here is my version. Thanks for a great project. I had a blast putting it together.

  33. Beverly McCauley says:

    That picture with the boys is the striped pj’s is adorable. Where did you find those pj’s. I have been looking for those for my boys for our Christmas photo this year.

  34. I’ve already pulled the photos. What a great idea. I thought I had the right size 4×6 album, but all ,y little albums only have spaces for 18 photos or so. Off to Target tomorrow to find an album the right size. What fun!

  35. Elizabeth W says:

    Stacy – I love this! I’ve done Ali’s “December Daily” album in the past, but I’m doing the photo-a-day project this year anyway, so it seemed a bit redundant. This will be such a cool twist.

  36. Stacy – GREAT project – just finished it and blogged about it here:

    thanks for the inspiration – can wait to see how this unfolds – will you keep us posted on your advent memories as you go along??


  37. Lovely idea! And like so many of yours – very doable is a short amount of time yet incredibly meaningful! Thanks for sharing.

  38. stamphappy2001 says:

    Stacy, This is the best idea for Christmas. I actually have a sturdy one up album with 50 pages. I decided I am going to do the first 25 pages for a photo a day this year and journal about each day and the last 25 pages of random memories. I already have all the papers and the tabbed journalling pages already done and in the book. Now I need to take a photo a day and journal. I plan to wait to print out all my photos until after Christmas so it won’t add to the stress and then as I think of random memories I will journal and again pull photos as I have time. I can’t wait to work on this album and see the final product. Thank you so much for your wonderful, doable projects.
    Karen G

  39. Stacy, this idea is just plain awesome! I can think of so many ways to do this project! I think for this year, rather than focusing on past Christmases, I’m going use it as a companion to Jessica Sprague’s Holidays in Hand class. Each day there is a writing prompt, a photo prompt, suggestions for things to make and do, and a memory prompt. I was little stressed about doing a layout everyday because I’m also doing Ali’s December Daily project, but this will be perfect and much more doable for me. I may even use a two up album and document my daily words and photo with words and a photo from the memory prompt on the facing page. I’ll see where this project takes me. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the inspiration! I love your website!

    P.S. Will you be posting any photos of your “list book” this year? I’ve never made one, but I always enjoy peeking at yours.

  40. Monika Wright says:

    I decided to use your idea to record, photograph and reminisce about the variety of Christmas ornaments that decorate our tree. Some from my childhood, some made by kids, some special gifts, heirlooms from German grandparents. That way the kids will know exactly why Mom decides that she has to a certain ornament on the tree each year! I already do Ali’s December Daily, but this will be a lovely way to tell another set of stories. I’ve also thought about Special Day 2010, too, since we have lots of birthdays, holidays and a son graduating in 2010 and they would all be in in one place as a great reminder. Thank you for sharing your special creative visions with us. Now, off to buy the 4×6 album, I only bought the 2 up!

  41. Monika Wright says:

    I will be using your idea for the stories behind our Christmas ornaments. Ornaments from childhood, German grandparents, ornaments made with kiddos, special purchases…so that years from now they will know exactly why Mom had to make sure certain ornaments were on the tree. I already do a December Daily with Ali. I also though about doing a Special Day 2010 since our son is graduating and we have sooooo many birthdays, family celebrations, holidays to remember. All kinds of happy thoughts in one place.

  42. Hi Stacey,

    I found the albums at target yesterday and am soooo excited! Last year I followed Ali E’s lead and took a picture a day in December. Even posted and journaled the photos on my blog. But never put an album together. Her album is very nice, but a little too complicated for me to do easily. Your concept is soooo simple!! I bought two albums and I’m going to put last year’s pictures in one and this year’s Daily December pictures in the other.

    Here’s my question…What adhesive did you use to adhere the felt frame to the cover? I bought a cute embellishment to add to my cover, but I’ve never adhered anything to the front of an album before so don’t know what glue to use. Thanks!!

  43. LOVE this simple project! Thank you! Will you be doing a project with the Target 2-up album soon also?

  44. Oh my gosh Stacy….So adorably cute! Okay, where did you find the time to “stitch” 24 4×6 cute little pages??? You are just too effiecient on your time management. I would love to by just half as effiecient as you.

    Hugs and Happy Thanksgiving!!

  45. Hi. Love the album! So cute. Do you have details on the paper you used? I love the colors!

  46. Thank You Stacy, for BOTH ideas, I have 4 chilluns and will try to do the tag booklet. LOVE it!

    LOL! YOU ROCK, lady. Just to let you know that I am sharing this link with the friendly girls over at Sisterhood of Scrap Forum as well. We will be at if you need a happy place to play. We have a registration but that is just to be safe, no big deal. All welcome. :) I originally found this fun set of projects by Craft Gossip. TYFS, Stacey!! ((HUGZ))-Ali in Nova Scotia, Canada

  47. Love this idea, very cool indeed! Thanks a bunch for a great tutorial.

  48. I jsut clicked over from CraftGosip. This is such a fun project and I am loving your blog. What a fun way to remember the season. I’d love to link to this if you didn’t mind.

  49. Stacy,
    I JUST LOVE YOU! I have been a fan of your photography and scrapbooking for many years and have just recently found your website/blog. I love your fun, cute, colorful ideas – thanks for sharing with us non-creative boring types! :o)

  50. <3

  51. this is going in my someday file, love it

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  53. I’ve always loved Ali Edwards’ December Daily albums but am often over-whelmed this time of year, and trying to be really careful of adding more commitments. But this I could do! And I love that it won’t make the “Christmas Memories” chronological album I’m trying to do feel redundant. Can’t wait to get my photos printed (which is a small miracle in itself!). Thank you Stacy!

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  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

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  2. [...] memories, using a standard photo album.  She has also posted a bonus Activity Advent project! Click here to go to tutorial You may also [...]

  3. [...] que están cargados de chucherías y chocolate. En esta ocasión, hemos encontrado en la página de Stacy Julian dos tutoriales para fabricar dos calendarios un poco [...]

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