Memory Keeping with a Theme

Do you ever look at all your photos and wonder where to even begin? Do you go chronologically, starting at the beginning? Do you try to scrapbook the most recent ones? Do you stick to special events? It can be hard to choose, and that’s why we are loving the newest Story by Stacy™ workshop kit, Stories I Love. Stories I Love encourages all of us to focus on the photos and stories we treasure the most. Using just one photo and story at a time, the workbook included in the kit walks you through how to write a personal story exploring all of the layers behind that single photo. With this kit, you’ll have nine photos and stories documented in one special place.

Memory Keeping with a Theme #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhstorybystacy #storybystacy #ctmhstoriesilove #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #themescrapbook

Choosing just nine of your most favorite photos for a Stories I Love album might still seem like a daunting task. You definitely don’t have to choose your top nine all at once. You can give yourself time to consider which photos you want to include, but we also have another approach to share with you today. You can use this approach with Stories I Love or apply it to any memory keeping project. Here’s the secret… choose a theme to help you get started. Instead of looking at all your thousands of photos (we’re confident you have that many), help yourself narrow it down by sticking to one theme or subject. Having a few parameters will make it easier to get started.

We asked three of the artists from our art studio to consider a Stories I Love album theme that they’d like to use to document stories and photos that are meaningful to them. You can use their ideas below to try this on your own! Remember, these themes are great for a Stories I Love album or you can use them in any size format. Even a 12″ x 12″ themed album can help you narrow your focus and get your memories in a scrapbook.

#1 Travel Adventures

Memory Keeping with a Theme #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhstorybystacy #storybystacy #ctmhstoriesilove #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #themescrapbook

In this type of album, you can gather the stories and photos you love the most from places you’ve been, or you can choose your favorite photos from just one trip. For her travel album, our artist used the pages and stickers included in the Stories I Love workshop kit to document a treasured moment from a study abroad adventure in Italy. The layouts in her album include special photos from other places that she’s traveled, near or far, and the stories that go with them.

Memory Keeping with a Theme #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhstorybystacy #storybystacy #ctmhstoriesilove #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #themescrapbook

You can see how she’s used the process outlined in the workbook to draft and even edit her story. This is part of what makes each Story by Stacy™ kit so usable. It takes you through the steps of both writing and creating. It’s ok if your workbook gets messy. It’s there to give you the space you need to draft and adjust the story before you write it on your album page.

#2 Family Traditions

Memory Keeping with a Theme #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhstorybystacy #storybystacy #ctmhstoriesilove #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #themescrapbook

Another approach is to focus on family traditions. With this Stories I Love layout, our artist has highlighted a photo she loves of her family at Easter, and her story explores some of her favorite family traditions during Easter time. This artist kept her pages simple, letting the story and the black and white photo remain the most important parts of the layout, with stickers and just a few added silver glitter gems. You could use a Stories I Love album for photos about family holiday traditions or even things your family likes to do together. Do you go camping every summer? Do you have special family events that happen at Christmas time? Odds are that for these moments you also have photos of them that are particularly meaningful to you. Use this type of themed album to gather them all in one place.

#3 Relationships

Memory Keeping with a Theme #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhstorybystacy #storybystacy #ctmhstoriesilove #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #themescrapbook

A different way you can theme your album is by focusing on a particular relationship. It could be with a parent, sibling, friend, or child. The photos in the album could highlight fun moments together or things you especially love about that person. For this album, our artist decided to work with photos just of her granddaughters. In her layout, she described one of her favorite things she does with her granddaughters and the special moments she gets to share with them. You can see how she’s added some other paper and embellishments to her pages. They don’t distract from the story and photo but do give her layout a different look.

It’s exciting to see how these stories and photos from our artists can come together to create a uniquely themed album for their memories. Just in case you need a few more ideas, here’s a handful of others you can try.

  • Baby album: Haven’t had time to finish your child’s baby album? That’s ok! Choose nine favorite baby photos and use the Stories I Love approach to tell those stories. This is an easy way to create a baby book that includes the best moments and stories in your own words.
  • Childhood album: Choose a few stories and photos from your own childhood. You may not have time to go back and scrapbook every photo, but this way you can gather the stories and photos that you love the most in one place. You’ll be able to write your favorite stories from your growing up years and share them with your family. This is something you could also do with your own kids. Have them choose their favorite photos and help them write the story behind one photo at a time. Not only is this a fun project to do together, but you’ll have a story told from their “kid” perspective.
  • Graduation album: Graduation season will be here soon. A Stories I Love album can be a great way to celebrate your graduate. Share a handful of stories and photos about that person over time. You can highlight moments from their life, big events, or simply what you love about the person they are becoming. This type of album is great to give as a gift to commemorate their special moment. You could do the same type of album for someone that’s retiring or reaching a milestone birthday or anniversary.
  • Pet album: Many of us have a furry friend in our lives. Use a themed album to gather photos of your pets and the stories that go with them. This could be an album you leave in process. Add some stories and photos in a Stories I Love album and then leave a few pages empty. This way you have space to include a few more the next time your pet does something new, silly, or even naughty that you want to remember with a story and photo. 🙂

The most important thing you can do is tell the stories and share the photos that you love. Those are stories that only you can tell, and starting with a theme can help you get rid of distractions or even scrapbook guilt (the guilt that memory keepers sometimes feel when they don’t have time to scrapbook EVERY SINGLE PHOTO). Give yourself permission to start with the ones that are the most important to you. That’s exactly what a Stories I Love album is for. We hope you’re inspired today to give the themed album approach a try, and we’d love to hear what theme you plan to use. Share them with us in the comments below!


Recipes:

6″ x 8″ Italy Layout
C1758 My Acrylix® Details I Love Stamp Set, Z4256 Story by Stacy™ Stories I Love Workshop Kit, Z2831 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

6″ x 8″ Easter Layout
C1758 My Acrylix® Details I Love Stamp Set, Z4256 Story by Stacy™ Stories I Love Workshop Kit, Z2844 Pixie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4191 Silver Glitter Gems, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

6″ x 8″ Granddaughters Layout
Z4256 Story by Stacy™ Stories I Love Workshop Kit, Z4217 Story by Stacy™ Short Story Workshop Kit—Black & White, X7242 I Heart Us Paper Packet, X6028 Black Cardstock, X7241C So Much Happy Complements, Z4254 So Much Happy Puffy Stickers, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

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A Giveaway, from our Holiday Kitchen to Yours!

From Our Holiday Kitchen to Yours #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhholidaykitchen #holidaykitchen #holidayrecipes #holidayfood #holidaymemories #tradition #holidaytraditions #Christmas #NewYears #familytraditions #memorykeeping #storytellingCan you believe that Christmas Day is less than 2 weeks away? As we all attempt to get some last-minute menu details in place, we thought it would be fun to host a recipe swap, right here on the blog! If you’d like to participate (and we hope you will), just post a holiday recipe and any story that might go along with it in the comments below.

To get us started, we have some yummy treats from a few of our favorite ladies at the Home Office:

From Our Holiday Kitchen to Yours #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhholidaykitchen #holidaykitchen #holidayrecipes #holidayfood #holidaymemories #tradition #holidaytraditions #Christmas #NewYears #familytraditions #memorykeeping #storytelling

 

From Our Holiday Kitchen to Yours #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhholidaykitchen #holidaykitchen #holidayrecipes #holidayfood #holidaymemories #tradition #holidaytraditions #Christmas #NewYears #familytraditions #memorykeeping #storytelling

 

If you’re not quite sure whether or not you want to share those delicious recipes and memories that are running through your mind right now, we’re sweetening the deal by adding a giveaway to help you preserve, celebrate, and remember your holiday table the way you would any other tradition. Share a recipe in the comments below and be a subscriber to this blog for a chance to win one of FIVE Cut Above® Holiday Kitchen Bundles!

From Our Holiday Kitchen to Yours #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhholidaykitchen #holidaykitchen #holidayrecipes #holidayfood #holidaymemories #tradition #holidaytraditions #Christmas #NewYears #familytraditions #memorykeeping #storytelling

The Cut Above® Holiday Kitchen bundle comes with:

30 – recipe cards
12 – overflow cards
10 – title cards
8 – journaling cards
6 – divider pages
2 – sticker sheets
36 – Memory Protectors™
1 – My Acrylix® From the Kitchen stamp set
1 – Black Everyday Life™ Album

Whether they are old family recipes or new favorites, the meals and goodies we prepare become part of the holidays themselves. The Holiday Kitchen Cut Above® recipe kit includes everything you need to get all those recipes in one place together with the stories and memories that make them so special—and it makes a wonderful gift, especially when filled up with your tried and true recipes!

Share a favorite recipe with us or share more than one to increase your chances to win a Cut Above® Holiday Kitchen bundle. (Posting the same recipe multiple times does not count and will not increase your chances of winning!) If you are not yet a subscriber, all you have to do is push the big blue button on the side bar that says “Subscribe to list” for your entry to count for the prize drawing. You have until noon tomorrow, Friday, December 14 (MST) to enter. Even if you miss the deadline, share a recipe anyway! The more the merrier!

Now remember, this Holiday Kitchen recipe kit is only available for purchase through the end of the year. Make sure to get yours while you still can!

Now it’s your turn: what’s cooking in your holiday kitchen?


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DIY Christmas Ornament

DIY Paper Christmas Ornament #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhohwhatfun #ohwhatfun #diy #diypaperornament #paperornament #diychristmasornament #papercrafting #diychristmas #chrismtasornament

If you’re looking to make some personalized ornaments for your Christmas tree this year, you’ve come to the right place! By combining a few photos with the Favor Box Thin Cuts (die), our Oh What Fun papers, and a couple embellishments, we were able to create a memorable (and sturdy!) paper ornament to hang on the tree.

To make a single box ornament:

1. Use your die-cutting machine and cut a base shape out of white cardstock with the Favor Box Thin Cuts.

DIY Paper Christmas Ornament #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhohwhatfun #ohwhatfun #diy #diypaperornament #paperornament #diychristmasornament #papercrafting #diychristmas #chrismtasornament

2. Cut 1¾” squares out of pattern paper to cover the sides of your box. Cut any photos you will be using to the same size. You will need a total of 6 squares, pattern paper and photos.

3. With adhesive, attach loose squares to the sides and bottom of your base before folding it into a box. (Do not attempt to attach the top piece at this time.)

DIY Paper Christmas Ornament #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhohwhatfun #ohwhatfun #diy #diypaperornament #paperornament #diychristmasornament #papercrafting #diychristmas #chrismtasornament

For the top paper, punch holes where the two outer holes are on the base. The easiest way to do this would be to lay the top flap of your base on top of the square pattern paper and punch out the holes.

4. Next, fold your base into a box. The video below will walk you through the process of assembling a favor box, from start to finish. For this ornament tutorial, disregard how the ribbon is attached in the video. We will be doing something a little bit different.

5. With your box folded, we are ready to add the ribbon. Because we will be covering the top of the box with another piece of paper, simply string the ribbon through the two outer holes and ignore the one in the middle.

DIY Paper Christmas Ornament #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhohwhatfun #ohwhatfun #diy #diypaperornament #paperornament #diychristmasornament #papercrafting #diychristmas #chrismtasornament

6. Once the ribbon is in, add the top paper to your box.

DIY Paper Christmas Ornament #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhohwhatfun #ohwhatfun #diy #diypaperornament #paperornament #diychristmasornament #papercrafting #diychristmas #chrismtasornament

Tie a knot at the top of your ribbon and you’re all done!

A single box makes a wonderful ornament on its own, but you can double your fun by stringing two boxes together! To make a double box ornament, follow all the steps above to assemble your bottom box, but before tying the ribbon together, you’ll want to assemble a second box, this time punching holes on the bottom flap of the base, too.

DIY Paper Christmas Ornament #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhohwhatfun #ohwhatfun #diy #diypaperornament #paperornament #diychristmasornament #papercrafting #diychristmas #chrismtasornament

The easiest way to do this is to punch the holes out before folding the base to the box shape. With the holes punched, fold your box up. Before closing the top, take the ribbon from your first box and string it through the holes you punched at the bottom of your second box and tie the ribbon inside. Finish the ornament top the same way as described in steps 5 and 6 above.

Favor_Box_Ornaments-blog-hero copy.jpg

These ornaments are the perfect way to get crafty this season with the kids, grandkids, and friends! With the right photos and embellishments, these could quite possibly become a holiday favorite!


Recipe:

Favor Box Ornaments
B1638 My Acrylix® Modern Typewriter Alphabet Stamp Set, X7238B Oh What Fun Paper Packet, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z6509 Candy Apple Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4230 Candy Apple Striped Ribbon, Z4190 Red Pearls, Z4173 Thin Cuts—Favor Box

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25 Journaling & Photo Prompts for Recurring Life Events

25 Prompts to Document Recurring Life Events #ctmh #closetomyheart #birthdayscrapbook #vacationscrapbook #holidayscrapbook #Christmasscrapbook #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #journalingprompts #photoprompts #journaling #photography

Are you in one of those families that go to Disney World once year? (lucky! 🙂 ) Do you spend most Christmas mornings at home in your pajamas? What about a birthday? We all have one every year. Holidays, birthdays, vacations, parties—the good times just keep coming, and so do the stories and photos that accompany them.

Earlier this month we shared a post about New Ways to Document the Holidays. We thought it would be worthwhile to follow that up with some additional ideas and prompts for other recurring life events so that we don’t always take the same photos and document the same stories year after year.

The following ideas can be used to take photos while you’re in the moment or as a place to start your journaling while you’re documenting the memory. If you’re new to scrapbooking or you’re just in a memory keeping rut, the following prompts can help get you going.

 

VACATIONS:

25 Prompts to Document Recurring Life Events #ctmh #closetomyheart #birthdayscrapbook #vacationscrapbook #holidayscrapbook #Christmasscrapbook #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #journalingprompts #photoprompts #journaling #photography1. Why are you going on this vacation?
2. How did you get to where you were going?
3. What did you pack for this trip?
4. Did everything go as planned?
25 Prompts to Document Recurring Life Events #ctmh #closetomyheart #birthdayscrapbook #vacationscrapbook #holidayscrapbook #Christmasscrapbook #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #journalingprompts #photoprompts #journaling #photography5. Who are the people that are with you?
6. Did you meet any interesting folks along the way?
7. What was your favorite meal/restaurant on the trip?
8. What cool souvenirs are you bringing home?
9. Has your life been changed by this trip?

 

CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAYS:

25 Prompts to Document Recurring Life Events #ctmh #closetomyheart #birthdayscrapbook #vacationscrapbook #holidayscrapbook #Christmasscrapbook #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #journalingprompts #photoprompts #journaling #photography10. What are you celebrating?
11. Do you have an ornament you love? Where did you get it and why do you love it?
12. What’s a favorite holiday treat? (Include the recipe!)
13. How does your family serve others?
14. Do you have any traditions?25 Prompts to Document Recurring Life Events #ctmh #closetomyheart #birthdayscrapbook #vacationscrapbook #holidayscrapbook #Christmasscrapbook #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #journalingprompts #photoprompts #journaling #photography15. How does “magic” happen in your home? (Ex. Is there an elf sitting on a shelf somewhere?)
16.What wrapping paper did you pick out, and why?
17. How did you decorate your home?
18. Are there special movies that you watch?
19. Do you have any favorite holiday music?

 

BIRTHDAYS:

25 Prompts to Document Recurring Life Events #ctmh #closetomyheart #birthdayscrapbook #vacationscrapbook #holidayscrapbook #Christmasscrapbook #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #journalingprompts #photoprompts #journaling #photography20. Did you get a cake? What flavor? If not, why?
21. What were the reactions to gifts? Was there a favorite?
22. Who did you celebrate with?25 Prompts to Document Recurring Life Events #ctmh #closetomyheart #birthdayscrapbook #vacationscrapbook #holidayscrapbook #Christmasscrapbook #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #journalingprompts #photoprompts #journaling #photography23. Interview the guest of honor and record their answers
24. Screenshot and document birthday messages from social media
25. How has life changed since your last birthday?

We hope you’re as inspired as we are to use your next birthday, holiday, or vacation to try out some of these memory keeping prompts. You can document your memories in creative ways by taking photos and answering some of the questions we’ve given you here today. Focusing on sharing the details around all of these topics will highlight what makes each vacation, birthday, and holiday particularly special on its own. We’d love to hear your ideas for scrapbooking these types of events. Share them with us in the comments below!


Recipes:

12″ x 12″ NYC Holiday Fails Page
C1725 My Acrylix® Simply Said Stamp Set, E1042 My Acrylix® Outline Classroom Alphabet Stamp Set, E1043 My Acrylix® Solid Classroom Alphabet Stamp Set, X9000 Seasons Mix-in Paper Packet, X6007 Lagoon Cardstock, X5986 Mint Cardstock, Z6503 Mint Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2831 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2731 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Re-inkerX7238C Oh What Fun Complements, Z4222 Hello Pumpkin Shapes, Z3314 Black & White Dots, Z4245 Opaque Matte Texture Paste, Z4247 Palette Knives, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen Journaling Pen, Z3503 Cricut® Artbooking Digital Collection

Cricut® Shape:
Artbooking
6″ Overlay <g> (p. 62, #M3F0A2)

12″ x 12″ Baking Magic Page
C1725 My Acrylix® Simply Said Stamp Set, X7236B Hello Pumpkin Paper Packet, X7235B Boutique Paper Packet, X7238B Oh What Fun Paper Packet, X9000 Seasons Mix-in Paper Packet, X6028 Black Cardstock, X5986 Mint Cardstock, X6016 Pixie Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2805 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7238C Oh What Fun Complements, Z4216 Raspberry Baker’s Twine, Z4305 Thin Cuts—Fancy Tags, Z3317 Thin Cuts—Stitched Hearts, Z2027 Mini Stapler, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z1951 Memory Protectors® Design 4

12″ x 12″ Wonderful Birthday Wishes Page
D1804 My Acrylix® Your Special Day Stamp Set, E1042 My Acrylix® Outline Classroom Alphabet Stamp Set, E1043 My Acrylix® Solid Classroom Alphabet Stamp Set, X7235B Boutique Paper Packet, X9000 Seasons Mix-in Paper Packet, X5990 Carolina Cardstock, X6021 Sapphire Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z6505 Carolina Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2831 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7238C Oh What Fun Complements, Z4304 Loose Sequins—Silver, Z4241 Thin Cuts—Decorative Borders, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z3500 Cricut® Artistry Digital Collection, Sewing Machine

Cricut® Shape:
Artistry
¾” Banner <New Years> (p. 50, #M41864D)

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Watch Parties to Remember

There’s no better way to enjoy your favorite TV shows than by throwing a watch party with your family and friends! It might be a Super Bowl party, a girl’s night to watch the Oscars, or a get-together for the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. Whatever you’re getting together to watch, the point is you are getting together, having fun, and making memories—which you should definitely include in your memory keeping!

Scrapping Watch Parties #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapping #scrapbooking #layout #watch #parties #party #superbowl #football #family #friends #together #celebrate #food #games

Sometimes our watch parties become a family tradition, like the one featured in this layout. Include photos of the people that were there, but don’t forget to also add shots of the snacks, decorations, and any other happenings that mark the event. The sights, sounds, and tastes are all part of the experience and make those memories special. These pages use our All-Star Complements with Basics Fundamental and the Stargazer paper packets, creating a simple layout highlighting a family Super Bowl party worth remembering.

Scrapping Watch Parties #ctmh #closetomyheart #winter #games #snow #2018 #scrapping #scrapbooking #watch #parties #friends #together #celebrate

Sometimes, watch parties include activities before or after the actual watching. These may seem like everyday events to you, but in the long run these moments are what life is all about. The little every day things we do that make us, and celebrate, who we are. In the page above, we share some inspiration for the upcoming winter games. Stargazer Dots and All-Star Complements pair perfectly for whatever team you’ll be rooting for during the next few weeks.

As you prepare to throw your own watch parties, check out this video, where our very own Jill Broadbent shares theme party ideas for tomorrow’s Opening Ceremonies. Complete with décor, food, and crafts, all you need to do is take a quick trip to the grocery store and get out your favorite Close To My Heart paper and cardstock.

Preserving what matters most includes the traditions we create with friends and family. With the Oscars in a few short weeks and a royal wedding in May, there are plenty of memory making watch party opportunities heading our way!

How do you celebrate these, and other, TV milestones? Share with us, in the comments below!


Recipes

12″ x 12″ Super Bowl Sunday Layout
S1802 My Arcylix® Sunny Thoughts—February Stamp of the Month Stamp Set, X7229B Stargazer Paper Packet, Z3353 Basics Funamental Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, 1386 Black Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7229C Stargazer Complements, Z3356 All-Star Complements, Z4143 Stargazer Dots, Z3386 Thin Cuts—Block Alphabet, Z3389 Cricut® You Are Here Collection

Cricut® Shapes
You Are Here
2½” Icon-2 <GameDay> (p. 48, #M282C66F)

12″ x 12″ Let the Games Begin Page
X7228B Gimme Some Sugar Paper Packet, X7229B Stargazer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, 1386 Black Cardstock, X5946 Linen Cardstock, Z3356 All-Star Complements, Z4159 Thin Cuts—Block Numbers, Z3389 Cricut® You Are Here Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
You Are Here
1″ <font> “LETTHEGAMES”
1½” <font> “BEGIN!!!”

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12 Days of Christmas

Hundreds of years ago, before there were such things as shopping malls or Christmas lights or songs about Rudolph and his red nose, Christmas was celebrated for not one day, but twelve. Each day brought various kinds of feasts and merrymaking, with December 25 marking the beginning of the celebrations rather than the end. Under this tradition, the finale of all the magical Christmas celebrations falls on the night of January 5, which is appropriately called the “Twelfth Night.”

1-   2-   3-   4-   5-   6-   7-   8-   9-   10-   11-   12-

Although there are some people who continue to celebrate Christmas in this old-fashioned way, the majority of society now celebrates Christmas up until December 25, beginning their celebrations in December, November, October, or even sometimes July. (We know who you are!)

So here’s our question: Why not enjoy the best of both worlds? We love Christmas and we’re always sad to see it go, so why not beat the after-Christmas blues by paying homage to this tradition of days of old? All you have to do is give out small, wintry gifts for each of the twelve days of Christmas. It’s simple, cute, and an excellent way to stave off those January doldrums.

You can make these twelve gifts for your family, your friends, your neighbors, your coworkers, or even yourself!

Voila! Consider your wish for an extended Christmas granted. But don’t thank us; thank history. 🙂

P.S. This useful little stamp set (D1552 Magical Days) is only $10 this month when you participate in the December Deal of the Decade!

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It’s Tradition!

December at Close To My Heart means celebrations that come in all kinds of wrappings. Following tradition, we celebrated our annual company Christmas party this week, and with a delicious feast catered by Tucanos Brazilian Grill and gifts aplenty, there wasn’t a Scrooge to be found.

Employees

As part of the festivities, we surveyed some of our Yule-enthused employees to gather some of their personal favorite holiday traditions. Here’s what they had to say about this, the most wonderful time of the year:

What is one of your favorite holiday traditions?
For Christmas Eve I go with my husband and girls to my sister’s place and we have fondue, eat until we explode, play lots of games, and laugh. The family has gotten quite large with nieces and nephews, so it is exciting. Throw in a bunch of dogs, and you can officially call it crazy. After doing that, my husband and daughters go to the Cathedral of The Madeleine for midnight mass. We love enjoying the religious side of Christmas. Sometimes we go to other churches to see how they celebrate the season. That is really one of our favorite things to do, sharing the season with every denomination. – Roxanne B.

We put a lot of emphasis on Christmas Eve as a family. We get together, open one of our presents (frequently pajamas), and we watch a Christmas movie while snacking on holiday treats. We also have a contest to see who can make mom cry (in a good way!) with the presents we give her. I like my chances this year! –Jen P.

We don’t do presents for Christmas. Instead we go on a mini vacation as a family. We also get “Christmas Dollars,” usually twenty $1 bills that are crisp and brand new from the bank! –Katelyn J.

Awards presentation

What is one of your favorite holiday childhood memories?
My dad was really into Christmas and he always tried to do something to make it extra special every year. One year he put a red bulb in a flashlight, hooked it to a fishing rod and bobbed it by my bedroom window. The next morning, he asked if I was awake when Rudolph pranced around the house. But my favorite Christmas memory happened when I was about 7. The house I grew up in had super steep gables and I was really worried that Santa wasn’t going to come because he wouldn’t have any place to park his sleigh on the roof. My dad reassured me that Santa would just park his sleigh on the front lawn, but I wasn’t too sure. In the morning, though, when I woke up, there were sleigh tracks, reindeer hoof prints, and boot prints leading to and from the house. I remember being so excited that Santa found a way to make it work. As an adult, I asked my dad how he did it, and he told me that he carried a ski and a crutch (compliments of my sister’s broken ankle) out to the lawn wearing his boots. He used the ski to make the sleigh tracks and the crutch to make the indentations for the hoof prints. –Carlie R.

My parents surprising us Christmas morning with a trip to Disneyland. We left that afternoon. –Yvonne D.

When I was very young we had “elves” that started leaving gifts for each member of the family on the doorstep on Christmas Eve. They had gifts for everyone, hand-addressed to us from Twinkles, Beardsley, and Stardust. We kids were ecstatic, and my parents were completely clueless as to who it was. They’ve returned every Christmas Eve for the past twenty years, leaving gifts for whoever still lives at home. It’s not Christmas until the elves have come. –Mimi W.

Catered meal

What is the best present you ever gave?
The Christmas after my father passed away, I made a scrapbook for each of my siblings of pictures of my mom and dad when they were young, along with copies of a series of love letters that they wrote to each other during a few month period of time that they were separated before they got married. It was sentimental and loved by all. –Lorraine T.

I took a picture of the house my dad grew up in and created a poem to go along with it. Then I put it all together on a canvas for Christmas. –Gina C.

I made everyone in my family write inside jokes and reasons we love my mom on papers and then I put them in a book for her. She cried. It was awesome. –Erin N.

When I was pregnant I started making my daughter a family quilt. I made my brothers, sisters, including in-laws, embroider an animal to put on the quilt. Each of them also had to come up with a saying that could help her get through challenges. Oh, how fun it was to see grown men trying to make little crisscross stitches. The blanket hangs on her wall today. –Kami W.

IMG_1411

What is the best present you ever received?
A handmade velveteen rabbit. –John Y.

Drawings from kids. –Travis B.

One time my daughter spelled out M-O-M out of Legos and gave it to me. It was awesome. –Jen S.

A quilt made by my grandmother the Christmas before I graduated from high school. I still have that quilt. –Lorraine T.

My husband wound 375 skeins of embroidery floss on plastic bobbins for me—amazing, right? –Cindee L.

Employees

What New Year’s resolutions will you make this year?
I don’t usually have that figured out until about March. –John Y.

I want to eliminate or simplify. There are so many things in my life that make it way too busy and hectic. I spend my time on some things that are pointless. So I want to eliminate things that are a waste of time or energy and focus on more important things. –Lindsie H.

Document more! –Katelyn J.

The same I make every year: lose weight, get healthy, watch less T.V. This year it will be different, right? –Becky L.

Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I make goals on my birthday that I know will help me stay well-rounded. I do, however, pick a word of the year and find ways to focus on it throughout the entire year. It’s a great practice on intentional living and for me has evolved into a really meaningful and important exercise. –Laura B.

Employees

Whatever your own holiday traditions may be, we hope you have a season full of very happy memories made with those you love!

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