Why You Should Keep a Christmas Journal

I know many of you are completely DONE with Christmas by this point, but in my house, we celebrate until January 6th. One of my newest favorite traditions is filling out my Christmas Memories journal in that in-between period after the Christmas rush has ended but before Twelfth Night comes.

I love to upload pictures to Christmas albums on Facebook each year, not because I think social media needs yet another mom showcasing her kids opening present after present, but because it’s a convenient way for me to go back and look at my collection of photos and relive the memories. But I’m a writer at heart, and I was looking for another way to capture the childlike magic and special moments. So many little things were happening throughout the season that I didn’t always have a picture of, and I wanted to remember it all.

Enter the Christmas Memories journal! I purchased this one from Bronner’s with space for 20 years’ worth of written memories, but there are other journals out there, of course. There’s also no reason you can’t pick up any blank notebook and start writing whatever you want! 

What I like best about the journal I bought are the individual sections to write about Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, the foods you ate, the particularly special gifts, and the other moments you just don’t want to forget. Although to suit my own needs, I change the section that prompts you to write about holiday visitors into a section to write about my family’s “Christmas Eve Eve” celebrations with my in-laws. There are also spaces for a picture and a Christmas card from each year, although I haven’t added any to my journal yet. (I’m happy with my pictures collected online!) Making it work for you is imperative for any journal!

With my Christmas Memories book, I wrote about and captured the memories of my beloved Maw Maw’s last Christmas with us before she passed, the tentative feelings of gathering to celebrate Christmas during the pandemic, the compliments I received after making a crabmeat cheesecake, and more. I know I would have forgotten about some of those things if I were only relying on pictures to remember the holidays.

Whether you want little prompts to help you capture your written memories or want to just write to your heart’s content in a blank book, I highly recommend starting a Christmas journal. As the book continues to grow each year, I get the added joy of rereading my past memories before filling out the next section. Even if you keep a daily or other regular journal, there’s something special about having a separate one just for Christmas, keeping your annual memories all in one place. You won’t regret this new tradition!

Erica Tran
Erica lives in Kenner with her husband Michael and her three sons, Benjamin, Joshua, and Elijah. After graduating from UL Lafayette with a degree in advertising and landing her dream job, she left her chosen field and now works part time as an administrative assistant for a Catholic retreat movement. She spends the rest of her time at home with her boys, finding lost toys and actively ignoring various messes. In 2019, she self-published her first book, The Sister. There's not a lot of free time between working, reading and writing, and chasing her kids, but in those moments she's usually sprawled on the sofa in casual denial about just how messy her house is.


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