Kay’s Journal: Holiday Gifts from Your Journal

Here’s what I’m writing about in my journal this week!


‘Tis the season to gift family, friends and co-workers with the merry and the jolly and the thoughtful. Who among us doesn’t yearn for the perfect, budget-friendly gift for our book club members or more casual friends or workplace fellows?

The answer is at your fingertips! It’s your journal!

Here are four tried-and-true gifts from your journal. If you’ve got even rudimentary computer skills you can create these in fancy fonts (don’t get TOO fancy; your type needs to be legible above all else) on special backgrounds or with photographs or illustrations. Or you can buy a pack of holiday stationery from the office supply store and print or hand-write your gifts on it. Or you can create your own bling with accoutrements such as ribbon, glitter, rubber stamps, stickers, washi tape, gel pens — look in the scrapbooking aisle of your favorite crafts store for ideas.

First: Make a list of the people you’d like to write for. Then match up the following techniques and get writing!

Captured Moment. This descriptive journal technique is written from the senses, often in the present tense, and captures a moment in time in prose, just as a camera lens might capture it in light or pixels. Choose a special time you’ve spent with your giftee in 2017 and describe it bountifully, using extravagant adjectives and juicy verbs. Captured Moments are often brief–a paragraph or two–and ideally will include sensory details that make the scene come alive. Rewrite it until you get it just write, er, right.

Character Sketch. This technique captures the essence of an individual–physical characteristics (that springy, bouncy hair! The way the eyes smile first! That crazy fashion sense!) as well as interior qualities that define the inner beauty. What do you most adore, respect, or revere about this person? Bring it into the character sketch. Again, move words around and read out loud to get the rhythm, cadence, alliteration, flow just the way you want it.

Collage. Take a pile of magazines (Oprah’s O Magazine is great for collage, as are Real Simple, National Geographic, Inc., Fast Company, foodie or wine or travel magazines) and some scissors (your desk scissors or some with interesting edges–scalloped, fluted, zigzagged), a gluestick, and some construction paper or a book of patterned backgrounds found in the scrapbooking aisle of the hobby shop. Working quickly and intuitively, gather images and words/phrases, keeping in mind your giftee and experiences you’ve shared. Arrange them on the page, then secure them with gluestick. You might want to affix them lightly at first and then glue the edges when you’ve got the page arranged as you wish. To make the collage permanent, take it to the office supply store and have it laminated.

Alphapoems. Write the name of your giftee down the side of the page. Then write a poem in which each line starts with the next successive letter. These sound really dumb until you do one; then they’re amazing. I’ve got Carolyn Koehnline’s Simplicity for the Holidays (last week’s LIVE! with Kay) front-of-mind, so here’s one for Carolyn:

C alm and centered,
A lways ready to
R each out and help us
O rganize and de-clutter, teaching us to
L ovingly care for ourselves by
Y ielding to simplicity and
N urturing our inner peace.


Any other ideas for holiday gifts from your journal? Share them here!




3 Responses to Kay’s Journal: Holiday Gifts from Your Journal

  1. Lynn D. Morrissey December 5, 2017 at 11:33 am #

    Love these ideas, Kay. And really so many of the JTTS techniques lend themselves to unique, “home-made” gifts, always more appreciated I think than store-bought items. They take more time and thoughtfulness (yet not too much time). 🙂 One thing I would say especially about the alpha is that I have also given it as a gift for a memorial remembrance, birthday milestone, retirement gift, wedding gift, and graduation. Actually the variety is endless as the occasions occur and as your imagination. I can’t tell you how much these have been appreciated. I don’t always frame them, but often do. I have one to a griefstricken man at the loss of his beloved wife of many years. I didn’t know her, but listened well at the funeral, read the eulogy, and asked about her from a trusted friend who knew her. I was able to piece together an alpha, which I prayed would capture her essence. He loved it so much that he hung my framed alpha on his bedroom wall and reads it every day. I was duly humbled and so grateful. I don’t see this as maudlin, b/c the poem was extremely uplifting. Thanks for JTTS methods which touch our lives in so many ways!

    Merry Christmas!

    • Kay Adams December 6, 2017 at 10:02 am #

      Lynn, thanks so much for these stories! Love all the ways you’re using Alphapoems to bring creative nurturing to those around you. They really are kind of addictive (in the best possible way) once you “get” how versatile and powerful they can be.

  2. Carol Roberts December 13, 2017 at 11:51 am #

    I really appreciate these ideas! I’ve been a little sad that I can’t find a way to connect with the grandsons. But if they had a poem especially written for them, I think they’d notice. Also, the few memoirs in poetry have been received and one special reply came from my daughter-in-law in Tennessee. She actually took a picture of it, sent it back and had something on her heart that she needed to share. I almost never do hear from that sweet woman, so this was special. (She’s an introvert and busy working mom, so it’s easy to forgive her.) Anyway, thanks, ladies!

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes