The mailman is leaving hints that Christmas is near. Catalogs and magazines are coming in strong. I don't read as many magazines as I did even a year ago. Often, reading/visiting (& communicating through) blogs takes up that pocket of my days (nights) now. One medium replaced by another.
But there's something extra special about Christmas issues that always has me reaching beyond my standard few subscriptions. The idyllic holiday scenes ... the possibility of creating that atmosphere in my own home ... new recipes, decorating suggestions ... things I might make ... it lures me. It reaches some place deep inside that makes me question: what experiences can I create for my family this year?
For years I've done this, collected and saved. I didn't want to part with them, but simply could not through small apartments, multiple moves, and self-directed goals to simplify, keep all of those heavy piles. Oh and it's not just magazines. There are interesting brochures, colorful advertisements, snippets from catalogs. You KNOW what I'm talking about. You know where I'm headed with this ...
[yes, that says 2003 and it's not anywhere close to being an older item]
... the manila folder. That's where the torn out papers have lived -- and I think they're multiplying in there -- they are reproducing or something. It's a rarity to keep a full issue for me these days. If there's any crafting to be done it's now, so the folder digging has begun, but this year, I'm giving them a more deserving place to live -- a Christmas inspiration binder.
[Blurry I know, but you can see that it's as fat as Santa]
I'm not spending too much effort on the arranging part. I just spread them all over the floor one night a few weeks ago, sorting by decorating, crafty, greenery, etc. The categories were obvious. Some just fall under "pretty imagery" and that works too.
Even my issues of Living were deconstructed. I know to some that is a sacrilege, but I'm being ruthless with my editing. If it isn't meaningful or appealing (to me personally) in some way ... it goes.
Sometime I will cover the binder in nubby, raw linen and adorn it with a large cranberry woolen button. I can see adding pretty tabbed dividers, a section for notes ... not entirely sure. Not this year though. For now it's enough to just enjoy flipping through, imagining and dreaming. It's as though I have this huge, new magazine (free from clutter) tailored precisely to my own taste.
[click any of the images to enlarge]
This is a keeper. Possibly something my girls might want when they are grown. Certainly I know my sisters would enjoy this book. In fact, maybe they already have one. I'll have to ask because we come from the same mindset when it comes to magazines. And we're not the only ones -- that's why the publishing industry is what it is.
I wish I could share every page with you here. I do. Because there is so much, and it's cheerful and warm and full of that delightful feeling that only Christmas can evoke. It's just one of those small, not-really-significant things that makes me, well, sort of happy.
A collection of holiday imagery, articles, and crafty ideas, like Christmas itself, is timeless.