With everything else going on this month, it can be hard to find time for journaling. I tend to keep written entries short (see below for some ideas). Sometimes, I’ll comfort myself with the promise that after Christmas, I will clear the schedule and spend time putting together December joyful journals. This month, I’ve got a date post-Christmas scheduled to complete my 2018 joyful journal.
This year I started collecting the items to add to the joyful journal in a big manilla envelope. The envelope system decreases the clutter and little paper piles around my room. Plus, there’s something calming about putting things in a folder, a bit of anticipation about the future day at the end of the year where I’ll put the journals together.
In the meantime, here are some ideas for journal prompts this month. Just like the Painting Ideas for December blog post, the goal is to keep the projects festive and simple.
Included here are prompts for visual and written journal entries for the month of December.
Collect your paintings for a big journaling or collage project
Do you find yourself collecting paintings and watercolor sketches and thinking to yourself, ‘what in the world am I going to do with all these paintings?’ I sure do! For the sketches that you really don’t like, consider cutting them up and creating a collage with them on a piece of canvas.
Grab a canvas. Add paint to the canvas, or not. Or, maybe you have a piece you don’t like….you can place your collage on top or scrape paint or gesso over the image for a textured, mysterious look.
You could add them on a canvas with gesso and then add additional layers of paint, paper and ephemera to the canvas.
Sometimes I cut up my paintings and use them as the base of a vision board the following year.
This year I used some small Christmas tree paintings to form my Christmas inspiration board. On each of the cutouts, I wrote a few words of the focus for Christmas this year, events like special social events (Christmas Open House, the two parties I’m attending, a Christmas play with my Grandma), ‘Quiet Nights’ (my free non-activity nights where I intentionally do something to rekindle the wonder and joy of the season), the volunteer event I participate in each Christmas, etc. This board will stay where I can see it frequently during the month. It reminds me of what I’m choosing to do, and choosing not to do.
Bullet Journal Your Shopping Lists
Most of us keep lists of what we’re buying, so why not have a bit of fun with it? Create a journal page to write down what you’ve bought for family, perhaps the special ingredients for your favorite dish.
As I can I try to combine the creative and the practical. My grandfather, who made his living as a fine watercolor artist, said to me, “Everything is art. The faucet in the kitchen is art. It’s all art.” He saw life through the lens of an artist, a designer.
The more I see through that lens, the more I can creatively navigate projects, even the holidays.
Journal About Your Loved Ones Who’ve Died
The holidays are a mixed bag of emotion. There is a depth of joy in the season when we embrace the tension between the sadness of not having those we love with us any longer while celebrating the joys of the season with the friends and family we have near. The holidays are a bit about longing.
Don’t be afraid to journal about loved ones who aren’t with us any longer. Perhaps print out a picture and add that to the journal entry. Write about what you loved. You can be general or perhaps, there is a specific memory around that person and the holidays that tugs on your heart quite specifically during this season.
I miss my maternal grandparents very much. The painful ache has gone (most of the time), but when Christmas comes, I long for them. They made the holidays special. My grandfather was a wonderful cook and my Grandma’s baking came out perfect Every. Single. Time. When I make “her” recipes: date pudding, pumpkin pies with her homemade crust, the delectable sugar cookies.
This year I’m going to journal something a bit different. I used to exchange snail mail with my Grandma frequently so this year I’ll journal a letter to her of what’s going on now as well as recalling some of my most vivid holiday memories.
More Journal Prompts for Written Journal Entries….
- Sit for ten minutes and take in a few deep breaths. Let your mind relax and let go of all the lists and things to do and work obligations, etc. What do you love about the holidays? What makes you smile on the inside? Write a few (or one) paragraphs in your journal.
- Glance at the pictures from the holidays last year. Write about your favorite memory from last year.
- Bullet journal a list of things you’re grateful for today. The goal is to be micro-focused on the gifts you’ve been given in this day. I learned this from Ann Voskamp and her book, One Thousand Gifts. When I shifted my mind to start looking for the gifts, a lot of the little anxieties stopped. I’m doing this journal prompt this month. It’s been a while and I need it…
- Notice all the ways nature changes this month. Go on a walk and see the sights. Journal about the changes in the season. Winter can be a sparse season, but there is beauty to be found. What do you love/hate about the season?
- Journal about what you’re looking forward to about Christmas week. What person are you excited to see? What activity are you excited about? Making that special food? Going to a holiday event or Christmas Eve service? Write a few sentences about what you’re anticipating.
Hoping this list of ideas gives you ideas for journaling this month. It’s easy to let the whole month of December go by because there’s so much in it BUT I encourage you, as a fellow busy woman, to take a few minutes a few times this month to write.
And if you’re putting together your items to create your December Joyful Journal or you end of the year joyful journal, keep collecting! Fill up the manilla envelope.
If you’d like to join me as we create our final 2018 Joyful Journals, sign up here. You’ll receive special emails the week (following Christmas Day) to help you navigate, focus and complete your journal projects before 2019 starts.