Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Journaling In Touch in 2010

When it came time to prepare for Christmas gift giving this year, I thought about all of the useless junk that we tend to exchange. Perfume gets sprayed, and the container runs dry. Earrings are beautiful and thought out, but in time they will break, fall apart, or wear out. Styles will change. Socks get holes. Books get read and placed on a shelf that sees a dust cloth once a year, if it's lucky.

So what can I give my Mom and my sisters that will make a difference, that won't sit on a shelf or end up in the trash can come next December? After a short time of brainstorming, I came up with an answer that was so easy and yet so meaningful that it had to be done!

In this electronic day and age, my mailbox sits empty almost all year. Christmas cards pour into it starting in late November, but seldom do I receive correspondence via snail mail the other ten and a half months of the year! Even my bills are coming electronically. My mailbox could use that dust cloth more than my shelves! Keeping in touch is easy when one is hooked to the internet. But, it loses that personal touch somewhere along the way.

I created a solution to my mail dilemma, as well as something that could be picked up again and again throughout the year and treasured throughout generations. I created four journals. I simply purchased composition notebooks for my mom, my sister, my sister-in-law, and myself. I then took the time to decorate them according to each one's dreams, wrote a little note, and wrapped them up. I'll explain their purpose with their photos:

The journals will provide us with a way to keep in touch throughout the year. We can write down what we're feeling, experiencing, hearing from God, how the kids are, what funny things they say or do, their accomplishments, quotes, Bible passages, and so much more! 
There is a CD in a homemade envelope on the inside of the back cover to burn music, photos, and video on for sharing. 
At the end of the month, we pass our journal on to the next person in the list placed on the inside front cover of it:


At the end of the year, whoever has the journal is to wrap and give it back to the person that it started the year with, as well as make them a new one. This is a Christmas gift that costs approximately $4.00 total, plus postage throughout the year to send it around. But who cares about postage when you're getting something so fantastic and inspiring in your mailbox each month?!!? Those dust bunnies will have to find a new home!

My design goal was to add a personal touch to each journal, focusing on something that I have heard the person enjoyed or dreamed of. My mom is the wise matriarch in this instance. I designed her journal to reflect how much she loves her family. I am looking forward to reading her godly wisdom when this journal gets to me in its rotation!

My sister-in-law has one of those large suburban community houses that contains not only her family, but her parents, as well. She dreams of one day having her own home in the country, where the neighbors can't see immediately into her windows. I designed her album with this in mind, as well as the fact that she's originally from Canada.

My sister dreams of being a Southern Belle. She loves Gone with the Wind and plantation-style homes. She wants a yard full of magnolia trees. However, when she does those silly Facebook quizzes to see if she would be considered a Southern Belle, she comes up as a redneck! It's too funny! In consideration of her dream, I designed her journal around a magnolia theme. This is the back of the journal, as I wanted to show that I put some kind of embellishment on the back of every one of them.

I haven't shown my own journal here, because honestly, I ran out of time as Christmas drew near. I didn't get to embellish it yet. I may hold off and send it to my recipient with a note for them to add something to its cover that they feel represents me well. Wouldn't you love to see what my family thinks of my dreams and aspirations?  


  1. What a wonderful, meaningful idea and gift! I love it. I might consider doing this with my Mom and sisters. Thank you for the inspiration.

  2. This is a wonderful idea! Christmas gifts should all be more personal and meaningful like this one!


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