At the end of the summer, I helped my kids make their own scrapbooks using pocket style page protectors. My son looks at his almost everyday and my daughter looks at hers pretty often too. As the holidays approach and we started decorating for Christmas after Thanksgiving, I got the idea to create a container of Christmas memories that my kids can hold and look through to their heart’s content. Our container includes:
- a collection of the photo Christmas cards that our family has sent out through the years
- a folder of all our Christmas letters that we send out with our cards
- brag books that contains photos from every Christmas we have had since my kids were born
The most effort for this project was in locating all the cards, photos and letters that I needed to use. Our old printed photo cards were hiding in the “to be scrapped” folders on my bookcase so I had to look through those. I am sad to say that there were cards for two years that I couldn’t find. I had some of our year in review letters printed but most of them were in soft copy. I am missing 3 years of those letters. I bought my first digital camera in April, 2002 and have stored/backed up my photos in various ways (CDs, DVDs and external hard drives). Because of this project, everything has been backed up together in two different places.
The Christmas Memories Case
- green Iris scrapbook case (bought at Michael’s where I have also seen these cases in red)
- white cardstock
The case itself is really simple. I used the scrapbook case because the inside is roomy and the container snaps close in the front. I designed an 8×8 inch design for the front and applied it with adhesive. Here’s a look at all the goodies inside.
- brag books
- white and green cardstock
The brag books I bought from Michael’s has space for 48 individual 4×6 inch photos so I decided to split each book into 2 years. I picked 24 photos from each Christmas since my daughter was born. Within each year, I ordered the photos in order of the date they were taken. This was easy for me to do since all the photos I used were digital.
The brag books had a clear pocket for the front and back cover so I decided to have one cover for each year. The front cover of this book was 2007, while the back cover was 2008. The cover I designed was 6 inches by 4 inches but the pocket was 6.25 inches by 4.25 inches so I padded the cover with some coordinating green cardstock.
Christmas Card Letters
- green 3 prong folder (bought at Staples)
- clear 8.5×11 page protectors
- American Crafts slick writer pen
- printed Christmas letters
I ordered all our letters by year and put them in page protectors. Then I added them to the green folder. Some of the letters didn’t specify the year on them so I used my slick writer to write the year on the bottom corner of each page protector. My letters started in 1999 when I graduated from college. It was fun reading through them. I had forgotten that my husband and I both wrote similar letters using the same format the year we got engaged. I included them both in the binder.
Photo Card Ring
- one 1.5 inch metal ring
- hole punch
- festive ribbon
- Xyron 510 machine
- Xyron laminating cartridge
- photo cards
- paper trimmer or scissors
- corner rounder (optional)
All our holiday cards are 4×8 inches. I used my Xyron 510 machine with a laminating cartridge to laminate each card. Then I trimmed off the excess lamination. The corners of the lamination felt sharp so I used a corner rounder punch to round the corners to help protect the little hands that would be flipping through the cards. Next, I punched a hole in the corner of each card and slid then onto a metal ring in year order. Finally I tied holiday ribbon around the ring for a festive look.
As I discovered later, the ring of Christmas cards is the perfect size to slide onto the Christmas tree!
You can download the files I used for my brag book and case covers for your own personal use here. The files are jpgs and do not have any text on them. You can customize the text before you print it out or afterwards with stickers. Enjoy!
The completed Christmas Memories Case sits under our Christmas tree ready for little hands to come and look through the contents.
My kids enjoy looking at the pictures of themselves when they were younger and my daughter loves to read our Christmas letters to my son. Both kids have commented on how lonely our Christmases must have been before they were born!
As we experience more Christmases, it will be easy for me to update this memory case. Each year I will insert more pictures in a brag book, place our holiday letter in a page protector and laminate our Christmas card.
How do you have your Christmas memories organized?
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like: