A good snapshot stops a moment from running away. ~Eudora Welty
Photos make great gifts. They are easy, personal, and depending on how you do it – inexpensive. We have always given photographs as gifts, especially to parents and grandparents. You still have time to make one of these simple photo gifts for Christmas. There are lots of great sales right now, too. Just don’t wait too long, some of the holiday deadlines are quickly approaching!
Instead of running around on black Friday, sit at home with your favorite hot beverage and finish your Christmas shopping with some of these ideas:
Nice frames with pictures you update each year.
We have our own set of these and I treasure them. It’s my favorite artwork in the house! I also did a smaller set for my mom and we give her loose pictures to change out each year. Super simple!
A Photo Basket ~ You can read my original post about this, but I can tell you how to do it in a few easy steps. Ready?
- Develop or print out your pictures. Shutterfly has great bulk deals on developing pictures. We have used it many times to catch up on our developing. Cheaper and less time consuming than printing it yourself.
- Put your pictures in small clear brag books. Grouping them into events or months is a nice way to do it.
- Put the books into a nice basket.
That’s it! I told you it was easy!
- Cut pieces of childrens’ artwork, or reduce and copy it to include in the books, or take a picture of the artwork and have it developed with the rest of your pics.
- For your own basket, trim those photo Christmas cards of family and friends after Christmas, and keep them in a photo book. This is handy to use at the dinner table to remember to pray for a different family each night or week.
- Think about your recipient’s decor and taste when picking out baskets. And plan for expansion! You’ll want to add books to their basket throughout the year and again next Christmas. It’s the gift that keeps giving!
- If you have siblings, this is a great joint gift for parents or grandparents. Then you can all add to it throughout the year. Just think how grateful they will be that you’ve come up with an idea for the parents!
This is my new favorite blanket gift – one that I can make and give to all the parents and grandparents.We have a fantastic young photographer we know do a photo shoot for us. She is wonderful and only charges a flat rate for the sitting, then she edits the pictures and gives us a CD with all the pictures. This allows us to develop what we want, when we want – without the exorbitant fees. It has become an invaluable asset.
Since she takes photos of the whole family as well as individual shots of each child (and mom & dad) and some candids, we use them to update our frames & albums, for submitting to the co-op yearbook and anytime I need a good photo of the kids for something. My favorite thing, though, is to make photo books online and have them printed.
- There are many sites you can use to make them – we’ve used Walmart, Sam’s, Shutterfly and this year I am trying out Picaboo because I have a gift card I got from groupon 🙂
- The books can range from under $10 to much more if you opt for hardback, leather, lots of pages, etc. So far, we have only done a softcover that costs about $10 both years we have done it, since we need about 8 books.
- I keep it simple by only using the pictures from the photo shoot, which gives the book a cohesive and polished look and makes it much easier for me to finish in a reasonable amount of time – usually an evening – without wading through a year’s worth of pictures. A year in pictures would be neat, too, if you want to take a little more time. A good project for after the holidays…
These are very similar to the photo books. Easy to put together, makes a great gift. I have found that in addition to parents and grandparents, teens love photo calendars. If you’re not sure what pics to include on a teenager’s calendar, give them a gift card to Shutterfly and let them do it! They are so techno-savvy anyway and they can personalize in their own style. My 17-yo daughter has enjoyed this the last couple of years.
Digital photo frames
These have been all the rage the last few years. I first received one last Christmas and love it. They don’t take up much room and can be updated regularly without much cost – either reuse the memory card, purchase a new one, or upload from your camera. Some recipients that would especially benefit from this type of photo gift are:
- college students – small dorm space
- elderly, especially those with arthritis who may have a hard time turning pages and those in nursing homes who have limited space.
- hospital patients – know someone experiencing a prolonged stay? What a nice way to brighten their hospital room!
- neat freaks – no clutter, no problem – one frame is all they need
- travelers – know an RV’er or world traveler – a great way for them to take lots of pics with them in a compact form.
- new parents – who loves pictures more than new parents? What a unique shower gift that will be used over and over again.
Memory cards have come down in price a lot, so making a new one and sending it periodically would be cost effective. Or Ceiva has cool frames, albeit a little more expensive, where you can actually update the frame from across the country via email, smart phone, Adobe, Picasa, facebook and more. It just has to be connected to a phone line or wireless network. A fantastic idea for long distance families to stay in touch.
Want to make something that you can send to all your friends and family? Photo Christmas cards are a fabulous way to do that. I enjoy receiving new pics of my friends and family each year. We joined the photo card bandwagon a couple of years ago. Shutterfly has some Christmas cards that I have been eyeing and will be ordering very soon! The hard part will be choosing from the beautiful styles 🙂 The ability to personalize them means I can acknowledge the true meaning of Christmas, too, with a verse or quote.
What great picture gifts have I left out? What do you do to pass on your pictures? What are you trying for the first time this year?