Why You Should Keep a Christmas Journal
It’s that time of year again. The snow is falling (or not due to your location and climate change), the trees are decorated and we’re all busy shopping for gifts. But what about you? What do you want to accomplish this Christmas season? This blog post will tell you how to keep a Christmas journal so your family can enjoy it for years to come.
Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash
The first step is deciding on the format of your journal: handwritten or typed up on a computer. Handwritten journals have a more personal touch, but typing them offers more convenience if you plan on having lots of photos in there too! You’ll also need to decide whether or not the book should be shared with everyone in the family – if yes, then create one book per household member – or just write one as a family. Or both. Keep a private journal and a family journal.
Our preference is a family journal. It takes the pressure off to always be poignant and when the journal gets read again in the future, it will be fun to see events from other points of view.
What is a Christmas journal and how can it help you?
A Christmas journal is a journal in which you write down all the memories, thoughts, day-to-day rituals, and traditions that surround Christmas.
Start a Christmas journal by getting a notebook. While handwriting the journal isn’t mandatory, the concept of journaling is to help you focus on the act of writing and the topic you are writing about. Using a computer puts the Internet a click away.
You can use standard journal prompts or special journal prompts made for Christmas. You can create your own or use a set of prompts like the ones offered below.
We encourage you to treat a Christmas journal like a scrapbook as well. Add in pictures, drawings, and other ephemera from the holiday.
What are the benefits of keeping a Christmas journal?
It’s a way to keep your Christmas stories for both yourself and your children. In days when never having family during Christmas might be hard, this can be a valuable resource of memories from years ago when there were more people around.
Moreover, it can help one create their own traditions or remember past traditions so they don’t forget what they used to believe in at a certain time in life. A Christmas journal helps foster nostalgia as you read your past entries and reflect on the activities you took part in around Christmas.
There are many documented benefits of keeping a journal, but the one key benefit we want to highlight is how it can reduce stress. Stress during the holidays leads to frayed nerves, emotional outbursts, and unnecessary arguments which destroys the peace of the season.
Why We Started a Christmas Journal This Year?
Years of spending holidays together there are some that start blending together. We love winter and winter holidays, and we hated losing track of our memories. Parties we attended, people we saw, foods we ate, and decorations we added to our growing collection all are part of the fabric of the season but can easily be forgotten in the rush season.
Journaling helps us slow down and appreciate all that we have and experience. Journaling about Christmas allows us to be a bit more whimsical and maudlin in appropriate ways. We get to talk about favorite decorations, favorite traditions, and new traditions. We get to talk about cookies and egg nog, holiday romance movies, and Christmas music on vinyl records.
Making memories and keeping them is the key to future reminiscing and nostalgia.
6 Tips on Starting a Christmas Journal
The best tip we can offer is “just do it” but you may want something a little more structured.
- Get a nice notebook or journal. It can be Christmas themed or not. Get a small one to start so it doesn’t feel overwhelming.
- Visit a craft store and take a look at all the stickers and stamps you can use to spruce up your journal.
- Don’t attempt to fill up the pages. Write what your heat wants to write. If it is a few sentences, so be it.
- Focus on feelings. Don’t waste time trying to describe something that is best captured in a picture. Instead focus on how these things make you feel.
- Use prompts for your journal. Prompts help get you started, gives you ideas and will prevent you from having writers block or going on tangents.
- You are writing for an audience of one, yourself, in the future. What do you want yourself in the future to know about this particular Christmas?
Nice pens, nice paper, and making it a shared moment will make keeping the journal easier. Right before bedtime, turn off the TV, turn off the phones, and settle in together with your Christmas journal and capture all those thoughts about the season.
31 Example Prompts for Your Christmas Journal
- What you are most looking forward to this holiday season?
- What was your favorite Christmas treat when you were a child? What about now?
- What was your favorite decoration when you were a child? What about now?
- What was your favorite Christmas tradition as a child? What about now?
- What is your favorite Christmas/Winter story?
- What have you done to encourage Peace and Goodwill this year?
- How do you feel about Christmas music. Which song do you love or hate the most?
- Describe your favorite Christmas ornament?
- How do you feel about Christmas movies? Which one do you love or hate the most?
- How do you feel about Christmas sweaters? Do you have a favorite?
- Who do you exchange gifts with and do you have any gift giving rules?
- Egg nog – love it or hate it? Do you have any egg nog specific memories?
- When do you set up your Christmas tree?
- Draw a snowman.
- What was the most memorable gift you’ve ever given?
- Do you have a favorite Christmas cookie?
- Christmas can be a sad time for many, maybe even you, what makes you sad at Christmas?
- What kind of Christmas lights do you like: clear, monochromatic, colored, flashing?
- For families in need, Christmas is a hard time, how should we help them at Christmas?
- Describe your perfect Christmas tree and describe your current Christmas tree.
- On this first day of winter, what is your favorite memory of snow, cold, or general “wintertime”?
- What is your favorite wintertime activity?
- What is on your Christmas dinner menu?
- Share a memory that involves Santa Claus.
- How do you open your presents?
- How did you spend your Christmas Day?
- What have you been most grateful for this Christmas season?
- What do you want to do differently next Christmas?
- When do you take down your Christmas decoration?
- What has been your favorite New Year’s Eve? What made it your favorite?
- What is the best new thing that you’ve done this year? Will you do it again next year?
Start Your Christmas Journal This Year
Start small. Maybe update it once a week instead of every day. Don’t make this be another commitment that creates stress. It should bring joy to your life.
Join us on Twitter or on Facebook and share your favorite Christmas journal entries.