Don’t judge a book by its cover

Coffee table books and magazines make me smile, plain and simple. These treasures offer a win-win situation for any homeowners. They offer a pop of color to any boring coffee table plus they have the potential to tell a great story to your guests. Here’s a fun stack of coffee table books that does just this.      
Christmas Photo Book
 Don’t be fooled by the red/pink Valentine’s Day combo. This coffee table stack is actually a holiday set of books that allow guests to peak into some of my holiday favorites: sentimental Christmas stories, Paula Deen’s cooking, Oprah’s gossip, and my favorite of all: a Christmas photo album. This album is one that I started almost three years ago and have absolutely grown to love, love, love!  
Christmas book
 Although it’s been almost three years of collecting holiday pictures to build a strictly holiday album, this pretty in pink (and red) album is still in progress. I have not added an official picture or monogram to the front cover because nothing has completely inspired me just yet…  
Christmas Book Cover
 And since I am just moving into the new house now, I wasn’t exactly sure what color(s) to commit to. The bow is just a substitute for now. I took it off of an Ann Taylor LOFT bag a few years back and tied it around the cover to add some color. 
LOFT BagBow
 When I have a clearer picture of where this Christmas album will sit each year, I think I will add a new bow that correlates with it’s new home. Until then, I am focusing on collecting holiday pictures every year, pictures that tell a story of all of that season’s holiday events. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, right?
Traditional Holiday  Photo Book
 My hope is that as our family grows and grows, we can bring out the Christmas album each year and reminisce about old holiday traditions. I hope that we can compare ugly Christmas sweaters, talk about old “Cookie Days” (more on that soon!) and smile about all the holiday hustle and bustle. I try and put at least one picture of each holiday tradition or memory. Whether it be cookie days, Christmas card photo shoots, Christmas dinners with the extended family, or fun holiday outings downtown, I try and capture a little bit of everything. I do need to work on adding even more pictures, because if you’re like me, even the little things (favorite gifts, holiday wrapping styles, tree decorations) are fun to look back on.
 It’s only been three years and I already look forward to looking through my pictures each year. I can only imagine how much I will cherish these pictures years and years from now. 
 A group shot of the larger group each year is so important! It definitely does not have to be perfect… but getting a picture of everyone together will be a wonderful timeline to follow someday. The imperfections make for a good laugh, maybe not now but in the future, for sure.
 Looking back on pictures from just last year makes me smile and look forward to this season’s adventures. 
 I also added little paper creations to indicate the years of each picture grouping. Here’s a shot of the 2010 place card I made that year… 
Here’s my 2011 creation. My favorite part of this one is that I wrote a little note in the Christmas “envelope” and even though it has only been a year, I loved pulling it out to read the note I left for myself from last year’s season. 
 I went with the paint swatch theme for this year’s 2012 place card. With a free paint swatch and a few stickers later… I was done.
 I thought the paint swatch was a great way to summarize what this Christmas season really focused on. Before I pack this coffee table gem back up for the year, I plan on writing a little note to myself on the back of this paint swatch. It just seems like the perfect way to remember the highlights of the season plus it selfishly gives me a little something to look forward to when unpacking my decorations next year. 
I’m only missing one more thing…. 
There you have it, my super simple holiday album. I bought this over sized album on super clearance at Marshall’s a few years back. You can use any size album and find one to match your holiday decor! If you don’t scrapbook and do not want to make the “crafty” place cards for each year, I would recommend printing a simple word document and cutting it to fit your picture size. Just remember, the memories inside are far more important than any creative touches you add, so don’t stress. This coffee table addition will tell you & your guests happy Christmas stories each and every year.
Looking back on old Christmas traditions is half the fun of the season. I can’t wait to use even more of my old Christmas pictures to glam up my home for the holidays. How do you save or display your holiday memories? Do you use anything other than pictures to reflect on past Christmas cheer?

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