The Holiday Project – Album and Layout #1 – Believe in Santa and Mrs. Claus

The time has finally come! The students who are enrolled in The Holiday Project – 12 Stories 1 Album are getting ready to put their holiday albums together. As I stated in the promo video for The Holiday Project class, I will be sharing my entire scrapbook process and holiday album on the Victoria Marie YouTube channel starting this Sunday! If you want to learn more about The Holiday Project, visit the “Classes” section of this blog. The class is still available so come join us if you are looking for a simple holiday project.

Now, let me share a little bit about my album and first layout!

Here is the album I am using for this project. I purchased this album at Hobby Lobby.

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Since The Holiday Project is all about robust storytelling, I decided to use a 8.5 x 11 album. I wanted enough space to create pocket and traditional layouts as well as having plenty of room for journaling. Most of the elements that I am using to embellish my layouts have black and white accents so I thought this black and white album would coordinate perfectly with my supplies. I kept the cover super simple, using an old Christmas photo that was taken when I was about 5 years old and a few die cut pieces to accent the photo. “THP” stands for The Holiday Project (that probably goes without saying :)).

In The Holiday Project class, I talk a lot about establishing a theme for this project. The theme is very flexible, leaving lots of opportunities to tell a variety of stories – past, present, or future. For my album, I am focusing on childhood memories. There are so many stories that I have yet to document in my scrapbook albums. I want to give these stories room to breathe and exist in my storytelling journey.

So, let’s begin with the first story, “Believe in Santa and Mrs. Claus“. This story is by far one of my favorites! Sadly, I do not have a photo of the actual occasion, so I used a photo of myself as a child and a stock photo of Santa and Mrs. Claus that I downloaded from Google Images. TIP: Never let the absence of photos derail your storytelling plans! Use a photo substitute or symbol to represent your story.

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Believe in Santa and Mrs. Claus

In 1989 my mother was going through the process of divorcing my father. This was an incredibly difficult time as my father was abusive and an alcoholic. Prior to the divorce, my mother and I fled our hometown of Del City, OK and moved to Dallas, TX to stay with my aunt and her two daughters. My mother felt that it would be safer to get out of Oklahoma for a while. When it was safe to return to Del City, we moved back and my mom took a job as a secretary for the VA Medical Center.  Needless to say, things were really tight financially and my mother didn’t know how she was going to pay for groceries let alone Christmas gifts.

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She confided in a co-worker about her struggles. Little did she know that the a bit of Christmas magic as about to happen. One night in December, my mom told me that we were expecting visitors. I heard a knock at the door along with the ringing sound of jingle bells. “Answer the door Vicki!” my mom said with a smile on her face. Upon opening the door I saw Santa and Mrs. Claus, their arms full of bags and presents!

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“I heard that you have been a very special little girl this year.” said Santa as he walked into  our apartment. I was giggling nervously in their presence! My mother had tears in her eyes. She knew to expect visitors but she had no idea that they were bringing presents and groceries. I later learned that Santa and Mrs.Claus were two of her co-workers who volunteered to dress up for the occasion.  When they left, my mom and I poured through the bags of food and she let me open one present. She began to cry – completely taken back by the generosity of her co-workers.

On that day I learned two valuable lessons. One, no matter where you are in life, never be too proud to speak out and accept help. And two, always give back to those who are less fortunate or who simply need a helping hand. My mother and I are forever grateful to her former co-workers who so generously provided so that we could have a wonderful Christmas.

And a wonderful Christmas it was indeed. 🙂

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Go to the Victoria Marie YouTube Channel to view the process video for this layout. And click HERE to learn more about The Holiday Project!

Stay tuned…there will be more videos to come!

2 thoughts on “The Holiday Project – Album and Layout #1 – Believe in Santa and Mrs. Claus

  1. Nicole Fabian says:

    That’s a wonderful story that made my cry. My mother was a single, struggling mom as well and I remember our doorbell ringing on a couple of occasions only for us to open it to a box of groceries. It was always such a wonderful surprise. I agree that one of the best lessons I learned from our poverty was generosity. I hope to always be able to give and see a similar situation where I could be a blessing.

    Like

  2. karla1229 says:

    I listened to you tell this story and teared up! What a wonderful thing to remember and document. Thanks so much for sharing your amazing December album!!
    Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas!!

    Like

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