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Christmas Ideas Week 6 - Photo Books for Grandparents

>> Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I always swear I will be mostly done with Christmas gifts by this point in December, but no matter how early I start and how hard I work, I never am.  Maybe one of the reasons is because I always make a year-in-review photo book, and I want to include November, so that means I can't finish it until early December anyway.

I know I've probably worn you out on my photo books, but I have to share them one last time.  I started making a year-in-review/scrapbook type digital photo book 6 years ago after my oldest son was born.  My husband is lucky enough to have 3 grandparents still living, and one set of great-grandparents.  In all, my kids have 2 sets of grandparents, 3 great-grandparents, and 2 great-great grandparents.  How lucky is that?  I lost my last grandparent over 4 years ago, so I think it's pretty amazing that my kids are blessed with so many. 

It does make Christmas a little hard though, because all the afore-mentioned grandparents and great-grandparents are lucky enough to have alot.  And although they are all so gracious and excited when it comes to accepting gifts (we could wrap up anything and give it to them and they'd fuss over it), you always want to give someone a gift they really like.  To address that, I came up with the idea of doing this scrapbook and ordering multiple copies for each set of grandparents.  With the exception of my husband's parents, all of them live some distance from us too, so they miss alot during the year.

They love the books, and there is no way at this point that I could get away with not doing it.  There would be major disappointment.  They all love to show their friends the books, and even though it's not really a novel idea, their friends (who are usually grandparents themselves) all seem to love the books too.  An added benefit is that I get a yearly scrapbook for us because I order myself a copy.  This time of year, I am always struggling to finish it and wondering why I had this brillant idea, but truthfully without the deadline I would probably not finish them and then I would forget to record alot of our memories.

I make my pages in Photoshop with digital scrapbooking materials, but you can create a book much quicker with Shutterfly or any of the companies that make photobooks.  For the first 3 years I made 12x12 books through Shutterfly and loved them.  Last year I found a groupon deal for Picaboo and made 8.5x11 books.  I saved alot of money that way and although I like the 12x12 better, I can't turn down over $150 in savings.  I'm doing a similar book this year through another company, again a groupon deal.

I try to do a summary for each month and put my pages in chronological order.  Then sometimes (depending on how sappy I'm feeling!) I write a little letter at the beginning or ending.  Here are a few pages from last year and this year.  Some are 2 page spreads shown together, some are single pages.

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