I am the kind of person who makes lots of lists. I always want to buy blank books and memo pads even though I have tons of them. You know my type.
One of the things I love to do is start a journal on a theme. I have started journals for books I have read/want to read, quotes, zine topics, projects (I have many different project lists), personal writing, travel, gardening, cooking....it goes on and on. Most of these have a few entries and not much else.
My most successful and useful theme journal to date is my Christmas journal. About ten years ago my niece gave me a velvet covered blank book for Christmas. The next year I decided that this would be my Christmas Journal and titled it such and used some vintage gummed stickers to decorate it.
Every year I make a list of the people I am buying gifts for and I make a list of people I am sending Christmas cards to. Sometimes I record how much I have spent on people and sometimes I keep a record of Christmas cards I have received too. I also use the journal for any other Christmas lists including things I need to do, craft ideas for gifts, Christmas mix tapes, ideas for next Christmas and whatever else comes up.
Each year when I take it out I look through the previous years. I moved to Portland in June of 2000 and this journal starts that December. It is neat to see what I got people in the past. Most of those gifts I would have long forgotten, but I can be reminded each time I look through the journal. It is also neat to see the crafts I made or considered making.
The list of recipients has changed a bit over the years and that is interesting to see, too. It is a reminder of friendships that have faded over the years and it is interesting to see the new names that appear each year.
This Christmas journal is a nice record to have. Last year I recorded the presents I received for the first time, just so I could have that on record, too.
The memories that this journal keeps is just a secondary benefit. The best thing is that I have it all in one place and I have the last several years to look back on to help me remember the folks on my list and the ideas I have had through the year.
It is nice to realize that at least on of my many many journals has actually lived up to plans I had for it.