Win a Seat in Your December Story

Have you written little bits of your Christmas season over the years?

I know that I’ve completed three December daily projects and a dozen other Christmas layouts. They are all so lovely to look back on, but in terms of a cohesive story? A little lacking.

I figured that this year, I’d continue on the same path, telling prompted tidbits of my Christmas in 2013.

Then I heard about Debbie Hodge’s new class Your December Story.

The idea of having a complete story intrigued me… and I had to know more.

I got a peek at “Your December Story” and I’m giving away a free pass

I checked out lesson 1 of Debbie Hodge’s Your December Story this weekend, and I want to tell you about the class and give you a peek at how it’s inspired me. And I’m giving away one pass to the class. (If you already purchased the class, you’ll get a $24 gift card good for any other GIS/MSD classes.)

Your December Story is shaped around the Hero’s Journey

This December, like Dorothy dropped into Oz or Alice tumbled into Wonderland, you will receive a call to adventure. You will move from the ordinary world into a one of magic and tests as the holiday season arrives.

Many of the most-loved and best remembered stories play out in a story form described by Joseph Campbell as “the hero’s journey.” This class has prompts and page ideas for visual storytelling that have you telling Your December Journey, from the heralds, to the challenges, mentors, special tools and the return to the known world and what you take forward.

You can take the journey and get a $10 gift card . . .

but only through midnight Wednesday, November 20th. When you purchase “Your December Story” by midnight PT, Wednesday, November 20, you also get a $10 gift card that you can use for Get It Scrapped and Masterful Scrapbook Design classes. Click here to purchase Your December Story and get the $10 gift card.

My Take on Lesson One

I’ve loved working my way through Debbie’s first lesson in Your December Story. I found the lesson a fascinating introductions to the Hero’s journey and Debbie has used literature and art to inspire our memory keepingh. Though I’m usually not at a loss of what to say the guided writing is such a a joy – I found it quick and easy to finish addressing the prompts while waiting for the next hospital visit. Yes, that’s right. Hospital.

I thought that originally I’d be telling the story of a humdrum month leading up to Christmas, but in actual fact it’s been nothing of the sort. Read on to see what’s really taken place for us in November.

I’ve tried to tell a visual story about Emily’s journey this past month, but I’ve also included our family’s usual November.

You can take a look at how my pages are coming together below. I say coming together, since I may end up tweaking them a little. Right now I have literally answered the prompts and used them with little editing or story arc, at least on the first page. But that’s the beauty of digital – I can, and often do, go back and make changes before I print.

201311 Atypical November201311 Atypical November B

Page 1: Here in Australia, the Melbourne Cup heralds the beginning of the Silly Season. Universities finish up for the year, and people enjoy the first tastes of hot weather. I personally enjoy writing our family letter, designing our Christmas card and running through the shopping list for Christmas. We organise who, what and where for the many events in December. Truly though, my central activities are the same, just caring for the children, attending events with Phill (when I’m invited BHP!) and trying to NOT overload our December with too many events, cards and gifts. My daily joy is hearing Emily and Edward laugh. When we moved into our new home Phill mentioned how he likes to be sure he’s heard them laugh each day, and now I try to do that too. I also love to take time to snuggle with each one. My daily challenge is not taking on too much. This year we’ve dropped ballet for both of us girls and pilates for me. Phill isn’t playing netball. In November, and throughout the year we keep family our priority: Phill, Emily and Edward. With extended family and life group close behind. Usually early signs of Christmas were the music for the Christmas carols, but this year that is absent! 7 years on I still miss being involved in Carols.

Page 2: This year nothing has been as planned. Edward was the first to fall prey to the dreaded lurgy suffering a mild cold on the 31st of November, which turned into laying down on the floor and falling asleep by Monday morning. He was diagnosed with bilateral ear infections. Emily woke Monday morning with a swollen neck and we spent the afternoon at the GP, then Emergency at Joondalup. Two weeks, three ultrasounds, two days in Hospital at home, five antibiotics, four cannulas, seven nights in hospital, seeing over 20 doctors in 14 days. Then, finally, the surgeons were able to drain the abscess. Now that Emily is almost ready to leave hospital, little Edward has the sniffles. So off to the Doctor again we go…


Win your seat for free

Put your name in the drawing to by using the Rafflecopter – leave a comment telling me what or how you hope to document this December. I will draw the winner on Thursday, November 21, 2013.

Winner will be drawn Thursday. I will email the winner and then you will have 3 days to claim your prize.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

See how the rest of the blog hoppers are using this class

and get 20+ more chances to win


Leave a comment telling me what you hope to document this December. I will draw the winner on Thursday, November 21, 2013.

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About Melissa Shanhun

Melissa Shanhun is a Aussie mum of two and avid digital scrapbooker. She loves to show others how fun and easy it can be to record those memories with tech tools like Photoshop Elements.

  • Cat Burchmore

    I’m really looking forward to documenting my December in a December Daily album from Studio Calico. I’m planning to get a little deeper than last year and really think about what makes this time of year so magical for me, and not just pretty pictures and embellishments like last year!

    • Melissa Shanhun

      :) Cat – sounds wonderful!

  • Debra Williams

    I am not sure yet. Thank you for sharing your ideas.

    • Denise

      I’m hoping to document my everyday life during December.

  • Carrie

    I’m a Document your December first timer. I’m hoping to just document our every day life and the things that make it wonderful.

  • silviahaynes

    I am hoping to document Christmas traditions for both of my sons to have when they have their own families

  • Laura Parsons

    Looking forward to documenting my granddaughter’s 2nd Christmas!

  • Leanne

    This will be my first time documenting Christmas with our family now overseas. I would love a tangible record for the grandchildren of how the oldies did Christmas lol. Thanks for the chance of winning a seat.

  • Jodi S

    This looks like a great class! I’m getting married at the end of December so I’d really like to document all the things we are busy doing to celebrate both Christmas and our upcoming wedding

  • Renee Toomey

    I have a series of Christmas albums going back to 1989, so I am just hoping to get several layouts done, documenting how we celebrate the holiday season in 2013. It is great to see how our traditions have stayed the same, or changed, over the years.

  • rebecca cox

    I am doing my first December Album this year and look forward to capturing the fun new moments and long-held traditions.

  • Mary Ann Kiger

    I would love to win this class, I have wanted to do a journal of December but never knew what to say or how to go about making something that is just a bunch of random pages that don’t really fit together. I exclusively do digital scrapping and have never done traditional. I’m just starting to get into Hybrid with cards etc. I would love to surprise my daughter with an album that documents my thoughts, love, and gratitude for all I have in my life.

  • Laurie LaRose

    THe twist with the HEro story idea makes this class intriguing. I’m planning on capturing the fun and flurry of December activities…and some of the quiet moments of the everyday, too.

  • Kathy R

    This is the 3rd year making a Dec Daily album. I think I’ve told a pretty complete story of our family from Thanksgiving thru New Years but I’d love to take this class to make sure. Thanks for a chance to win.

  • Cathy Eberhardt Holiday

    I would like to do a then and now album for our 5-year-old and how we celebrated in the olden days, 1970s-1980s :) comparing to now.

  • orange gearle

    WOW! Looks like a great class! Thanks for the chance to win!

    • orange gearle

      I’m using the DD album from Studio Calico and I’m hoping to NOT do something daily, but maybe document deeper? Still working on it! :-)

  • Louise Murr

    The more I read about this class I think I’ll have to purchase it and do it with this. It may keep me motived to keep it up all month!

  • Roberta

    The class looks great! This will be my first year scrapping December Daily. I’m feeling a little timid about it since it is such a busy time already! Thank you for the chance to win a seat in the class.

    • Roberta

      I hope to document the fun, excitement, and family time

  • Jenny McGee

    This class looks awesome. I already love Debbie Hodge and know anything she does is great. I have not attempted any type of December projects, so this would be fun to try. Thanks for a chance.

  • Lisainre

    I’m just hoping to document a bit about my everyday during December and at the same time, throw in a short story or two from my past. I might also talk about about my marriage as we’ll be hitting 10 years on 13th Dec! Something a bit special this year.
    Thanks for the chance to win

  • Kim Kern

    I wan to document the everyday little things.

  • Phyllisf

    I really want to focus on family traditions – and get each kid’s perspective on the things that make it Christmas for them.

  • Stacia

    I do a holiday album each year from Thanksgiving to New Years and try to document things about my immediate family and my extended family at family gatherings.

  • Courtney M

    I’m looking forward to documenting the Festival of Trees and the Nativity scenes. The Festival is a huge fundraiser for the Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City Utah. We’ve been out of state and missed it the last 7 years.

  • tina k

    this is my first year for December daily. and i really want to get it all in there

  • Marina Delgado

    Where normally I am all about the deeper stories since I’ve never done a holiday album I would like to get down the normal holiday events we participate in all in one place. Also will be less pressure for deep meaningful journaling that way =)

  • MiceandMoonbeams

    Our Christmas this year has really changed and I’m looking forward to documenting this “new” one for my hubs and me.

  • Maureen Reynolds

    My grandson will be home from his first year of college…so all will be new for us.

  • Christle

    I hope to document happiness and joy. Documenting is what I tend to do most in my December Daily mini albums.

  • glee

    I’d like to get some of my “before scrapper mom” Christmas memories down.

  • Mary

    I would like to document travels with my husband during a December

  • Cindy Jackson

    This looks like a great class!

  • Militza Garcia Mendez

    I hope I can do a december daily, a photo a day thing, my kids will give me a lot to work with!

  • Missus Wookie

    I like the idea of the more cohesive story, I’ve done quite a few other bits and pieces and like the idea of exploring some of the overarching themes and stories as well as recording the bits and pieces of everyday.

  • Donna Urban

    I hope to document my Dec daily and to scrapbook the highlights.

  • Nfoz

    I’m ready to take a look back, and document the changes. DDs are grown and out of the house, so traditions change accordingly.

  • Autumn

    I am looking forward to documenting our newest addition this December. He was a surprise and has two older siblings. THey think he is completely and wonderfully marvelous! They are so excited this is his “first Christmas!” I want to have all this recorded so for years to come we can look back and enjoy!!

  • Melissa Andrews Sutherland

    Looks like an awesome class!!

  • Kathleen D

    I was planning on doing my documenting in my Project Life album but now you all have me rethinking this and telling a bigger story of the holiday

  • Janet Trapp

    Wow would LOVE to win this! I have never done anything with December Daily but would love to try it! ~God bless~

  • Ashley B

    I’m looking forward to documenting December for the first time. I actually listened to several of your old podcasts for inspiration. : ) I plan on covering our family traditions and hopefully some fun daily memories of the season as well.

  • Melinda Thao

    I hope to write more detailed and meaningful.

  • Valerie

    I would love to document time spent with friends and family and grandchildren.

  • Nicole Alexander

    Work celebrations, school programs, decorations, gifts, baking, the list goes on!

  • Feutrella

    I would love for the first time documenting our december.

  • Shannon

    This is new to me, I have only photographs as memories of our Christmases past of my children. I plan to collate 30 yrs past of these photos with little anecdotal notes and family recipes for all of my 4 children. Once done I will be making books for my grandchildren and our Christmas family activities of the season. I have lots to do

  • Julia C

    This will be my 7th Christmas Journal, but the last with children at home – next year we’ll have an empty nest, and we might travel to Belgium to be with my daughter for Christmas. So this year I want to make sure I capture exactly what our Christmas traditions have been.

  • KikiK

    thank you for sharing this Melissa. Will you do December daily podcast this year? please do!!!

    • Melissa Shanhun

      Hi Kiki

      I’ve scheduled a few interviews, but sadly my daughter Emily has been unwell for a few weeks and is in hospital right now. BUT I still hope to have another few episodes this year. Stay tuned!

      You can always re-listen to some of the older ones to get you in the spirit for the time being.
      :) M

  • Laura Milazzo

    I want to capture some of the magic of the season. What makes it different from other times of the year?

  • Candice in Colorado

    I thought about doing one last year and I got so far as gathering pinterest images to help me go in the direction I wanted to go…but nothing came of it. :( I really would like to do one this year!!!

  • Becky Gotch

    I’m hoping to document my everyday life in December and also all the fun things we have planned.

  • Mary Beth Bolie

    I am looking forward to documenting our trip to San Diego during Christmas. Spending time with our grandsons will be the best!

  • Denise

    I think I did this wrong…I am hoping to document my daily life in December.

  • Sarah Roeder

    I’d like to document the highlights sprinkled with some every day happenings! Thanks for the chance to win!

  • Kim Lucchesi

    Melissa, Thank you for this opportunity! I’m new at this, so I’m hoping to document highlights of everyday (or what I can) in addition to stories of my childhood. I’d like to really think about what Christmas means to me and really relish in every moment with my kids before they are gone (moved out).

  • Karyn Allen

    I’m actually looking to doing something this year – where I haven’t in years past….my son is not going to be home for Christmas this year and he’ll want to know what he has missed.

  • Beth

    Looking forward to documenting the holidays in a new way. The class looks amazing.

  • LCD

    I’m doing a December Daily album this year using Studio Calico’s kit and 8×8 pocket pages…should be less stressful!

  • Deb VC

    I hope to document how my boys are growing up.

  • Tiffany

    I hope to document the little details, and I’d like to get some great pictures of Christmas morning and opening presents. My Christmas morning pictures always are horrible, so hopefully my new camera will come to my rescue.

  • Susan Gray

    I want to capture All the little quirky traditions we have and new things we are doing now that the boys are grown. Thanks for chance to win. Happy thanksgiv

  • Elizabeth

    I always enjoy capturing those surprised yet happy looks on the faces early in the morning.

  • jennifer brown

    I hope to document the building excitement of the kids.

  • Tammy Davis

    In addition to my “December Daily”-ish album, I want to start a “Christmas Through the Years” album with maybe a two page spread starting with my first Christmas up to my marriage. Then I want to start from my marriage to the present. That way I can document memories and hopefully, start the December Daily stuff from this year forward. It’s my plan. Wish me luck! Thanks for the chance to win!

  • Kelly Sroka

    I am always good about taking lots of photographs during the holidays, but this year I want to write more about the season.

  • Libby Wiers

    I have never done a December Daily of any sort, but you ladies are all inspiring and this year seems like a good year to give it a try. It would be nice to have a ‘snapshot’ of the whole season, not just presents under the tree on the 25th.

  • Shannon

    I would hope to document this Christmas for once since I have been so behind when my youngest son was born (almost 4 years ago)!!! Our family all gets together every year and it would just be nice to document this for everyone!

  • Kelley Fewer

    I’m going to document our Christmas trip out of the country- a first for our family.

    Shine on!