Documenting Your December

One of my favorite recent holiday traditions is putting together a small photo album or minibook that documents our December. What makes this better than regular photobooks is that I only bring them out with the holiday decor. Each year we look back at the memories of Decembers past, and it all becomes fresh and new again. It’s a wonderful way to relive those moments with my family.

Documenting Your December | Houston Moms Blog

Today I want to share a few ideas for putting together your own holiday minibook. I’ll start with the easiest, then work up to the most involved for those of you who want to make it a hobby, or who love to craft. {I used to be one of those people, but nowadays I’m leaning hard on the “easy.” #momlife}

>> Chatbooks <<

If you haven’t heard of Chatbooks yet, you’re welcome. They have revolutionized my memory-keeping. Sync your Instagram, Facebook, or camera roll favorites, and they automatically print an 8×8 softcover book once you reach 60 photos. They will alert you when a book is finished so you can go in and do any edits, and then it ships for $8 in three days.

I have mine set up with Instagram, and I basically leave it untouched until a book is finished. At that point I go in and edit any captions {since the printed version is for my family and not the public}, as well as add in any photos that I want to save which didn’t get posted {like if I have multiple photos of an event, or if I wanted to keep any private}. My kids LOVE these, and I don’t feel protective of them because they are cheap and easy to reprint if needed.

This year, I think I’m going to use Chatbooks for documenting our December. To do this, you just need to use a hashtag on any photos you want to include, and then apply that filter to your source settings in the Chatbooks app. Since I probably won’t make it to 60 photos, I can easily go in and add photos of text, like holiday sentiments, at the end to fill out the book.

>> Use A Template <<

Documenting Your December | Houston Moms Blog

This approach takes a little more work, but it is still straightforward and the result worth it. Last year I used these editable photo templates along with this digital download to create my own minibook. Once I plugged in my own photos and captions, I printed all the photos as 4×6, punched holes in them, and bound them using binder rings with chipboard for the front and back covers. I absolutely love how this turned out – it’s modern, and the focus is on the photos and the stories.

>> Pocket Pages <<

Documenting Your December | Houston Moms Blog

Pocket pages are a favorite in the scrapbooking world, and I can see why. You can simply slide a photo or piece of paper in the pocket, or you can get more complicated and decorate each one. Two years ago I did a 4×4 pocket page book. Some pages were simply a photo, and others were slightly embellished. I like this option because I got to play with pretty paper and stamps, but it wasn’t too overwhelming. If you like, you can see my entire book here.

>> Go Full Scrapbook <<

Documenting Your December | Houston Moms Blog

Finally, if you have the time and inclination, you can really get into making a scrapbook out of your holidays. My favorite resource for this is Ali Edwards’ December Daily® community. While I’ve seriously altered her approach to fit my life, she was originally my inspiration for documenting December. If you have any interest in documenting, her site is a treasure trove. 

The year I got really into scrapbooking I made one of my favorite mini albums. I didn’t do it day by day, but I put it together at the end of the holiday season. It is still SO fun to page through it because it has so many layers and textures {you can see the photos here}. I like to marvel at what my past self was capable of. Wink.

So, have I convinced you? Will you give it a try? Share how you document your holidays in the comments; we’d love to hear!


  1. “I like to marvel at what my past self was capable of.” This is the way I feel when I look at things I’ve knitted. It is hard to believe I ever had so much time!


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