Birthday. Easter. Graduation. Christmas. Repeat.

A common mantra among scrapbookers that persist with the hobby is that event-based scrapbooking grows tiresome, hence the rise of everyday scrapbooking.

In a chronological event-based scrapbook, the album may move from event to event. For example, the album may move from a birthday, to Easter, to a graduation, to Christmas, and so on. Scrapbooks begin to look repetitive if a scrapbooker does yearly albums in this way. If every year begins to look the same in a scrapbook, what is the point in scrapbooking it each year? The scrapbook industry has stepped in to solve this “problem” of repetition creating nontraditional products for traditional holidays (e.g., Christmas-themed supplies now include pink in addition to traditional red and green) and producing idea books that show new ways to scrapbook common events. In this way, the scrapbook industry is no different than other businesses, such as greeting card companies or florists that provide products for holiday celebrations (see Pleck 2004).

While many scrapbookers transition from event-based scrapbookers to everyday scrapbookers, they run the risk of burnout on the other side of the time continuum. I believe that the rise of what appears to be the most common method of using the Project Life system (weekly) is unsustainable over the long run just as the event-based scrapbooking method was unsustainable for many scrapbookers. For the marketers out there, then, consider promoting a method of scrapbooking that is sustainable for your average scrapbooker. Thoughts? What method of scrapbooking is sustainable?

Reference (affiliate)

Pleck, Elizabeth H. 2004. “Who are We and Where Do We Come From?: Ritual, Families and Identity.” in We are What We Celebrate: Understanding Holidays and Rituals, edited by A. Etzioni and J. Bloom. New York: New York University Press. (Public Library)

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  • Nat

    This is a really interesting discussion. I don’t think there is an exact system for everyone and mass gravitation toward any system seems like a farce. For me the answer is to simply remove the pressure and document what I feel like documenting. There are some scrapbooks where I document birthdays, some where I don’t. Some Christmases are one page, some are several. I smatter lots of large and small events in between.

  • I agree completely. Some years I scrapbook certain holidays and other years I don’t. I think I was more extensive with some holidays when my daughter was younger but now that I’ve done them more extensively, I don’t feel any pressure to do them extensively (or at all) in later years.