Gimme Some Oven

December Daily

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December Daily |

Happy December, everyone! I hope that you all had a warm and merry Thanksgiving. (And to my Jewish friends, I hope that you had a blast celebrating the a once-in-a-lifetime — or really, once-in-79,000-lifetimes! — Thanksgivukkah. So cool!!)

I spent most of my holiday week at home with family in Wichita, and then came home to celebrate Friendsgiving back in KC. And then I woke up with the rest of the world this morning, and — poof! — it was somehow December. I know that everyone has been talking about how short the holiday season would be this year, but I don’t think I realized until today just how short that time would really be! Better get Buddy The Elf and Clark Griswold on rotation stat.

That said, I always find myself thinking each December about how to make the season less chaotic and stressful and more meaningful and healthy. So today I thought I would share the three small resolutions I am making for the month of December this year.

I tend to have a pretty bad track record of sticking with 365 days of new year’s resolutions. But I have loved making “December Daily” resolutions the past few years, and believe it or not, I actually tend to stick with them.

Here are my three for 2013…

December Daily |


For the past few years, I have joined with scrapbookers across the world in a project actually called December Daily. Basically, it’s an album project dreamed up by one of my favorite bloggers to simply “capture” something from each day in the month of December, or at least the 25 days leading up to Christmas. Many serious scrapbookers go all-out on this. But me? Let’s be honest. I…

(a) am not a scrapbooker
(b) probably print, oh, about 1% of the photos I ever take in life
(c) have a terrible horrible memory to record events, trips, etc.

But that said, there’s a teeny tiny part of me that has always wanted to be a scrapbooker, and have printed copies of favorite photos, and actually take the time to write down the events of my day. So for at least one month a year, I get my “craft” on and pretend I’m a scrapbooker.

Granted, my version of this project is about as simple as it gets. All of my supplies are pictured above. I bought an 8×8-inch album, complete with refill pages that allow you to simply drop photos (I chose square for Instagram), odds and ends, or notes of what I did that day. I print photos at home or at Walgreens. And then I am recycling a collection of papers, stickers, and odds and ends from years past. On average, it takes 15 minutes a day or less, and I think the total cost will be in the $25 ballpark. And the result will hopefully be a tiny little album that I can enjoy looking through year after year.

I’ll post a few updates on this if anyone’s interested. But feel free to check out Ali and Elise‘s blogs if you need more inspiration, tips and resources. I live my scrapbooking dreams vicariously through these amazing women.

December Daily |


My second resolution is a step up from my usual goal of breaking a sweat each day. This year, I am actually going to force myself to get outside and walk/run at least a mile a day.

Many of you know that I hatehatehate being cold and am a mega (and faithful!) fan of indoor winter workouts. But I have decided to push myself to bundle up and actually take a 15 minutes lap around my neighborhood each day this December in hopes of:

(a) combatting the winter blues by soaking up at least 15 minutes of sunshine and Vitamin D each day
(b) getting to experience and appreciate the beauty of my neighborhood in a different season
(c) actually (ahem) give my dog some regular exercise and chances to play in the snow

Granted, I will still supplement this mile with an indoor workout each day. (I’m still loving Jillian and Barre3!)  But my goal is to bundle up and brave the cold for at least a mile each day. The jury’s still out on whether this resolution will be worth it, but we’ll see.

December Daily |


I wasn’t quite sure what to call this one, but it is the resolution that’s most important to me. Basically, I want to set aside time each day — preferably in the morning — to pause and to pray. And when I say “pray”, I mean anything from taking time to (slowly) read and reflect on Scripture, sing or listen to worship music (especially Christmas carols), journal, spend time in silence, and just simply pray.

In a season that tends to be filled with so many additional things, my hope is instead to do less, and actually create extra space in my day to spend time reflecting, and waiting, and being still, and opening myself to anything the Lord might have to say this season. The whole premise of what Christians believe and celebrate about Christmas is the astounding miracle of emmanuel — God with us. So if nothing else, I want to try and make myself more available to be with God.

That said, I will be the first to admit that scheduling designated, regular blocks of time each day for prayer has never been my strong suit. I feel like I’m constantly praying, but rarely for more than a minute or two at a time. But the seasons in my life when I’ve gotten into more of a routine always seem to be really meaningful and fruitful, so I figure now is as good a time as any to try and build up those habits again. I’m actually really looking forward to it.

Henry Santa |

Would love to hear from you if there are certain resolutions or hopes or traditions that you have this month. In the meantime, Henry and I wish each of you a Happy December!

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6 comments on “December Daily”

  1. I am participating in an #elf4health challenge this month which has been a great way of keeping myself focused on my health and well-being this month. And I am committing to an Advent scripture reading plan :)

  2. This is so inspiring, Ali!

  3. Glad you’re doing the scrapbook thing – can’t wait to see it. And, that’s probably the CUTEST picture of Henry EVER!!!

  4. I love reading your blog, and especially that you are so down to earth and “real”. Thanks for being an inspiration to me. Love the picture of your dog. I’m a Canadian (our thanksgiving is in October) we get a head start on getting ready for Christmas. But its a funny thing most people here in Canada, don’t really get into the Holiday spirit until the beginning of December. I try and start early but then I get over-ambitious and you know what happens then. Have a good December and I’m looking forward to reading more on your blog.

  5. I love all of these and am inspired by you! Especially by the prayer-a-day one…I need to take more time and reflect.

  6. I love your three choices for December Daily. I can do that!