I feel like I need to provide a public service announcement to the world. Photobooks are WHERE. IT. IS. AT when contemplating Christmas gifts for your parents. I stumbled across this little gem of an idea 6 years ago now. Presents for my parents were hard enough when I was single. Worlds Softest Socks or something Notre Dame for Dad…. and something ceramic or decorative for mom would usually do the trick. Then I got married. Was I the ONLY one who was shocked to learn that in the fine print of the marriage license there was apparently a clause that said: “Wife duties: purchasing ALL holiday gifts for both sides of the family, and remembering to send all cards for Mother’s/Father’s day and birthday’s.” How in the heck was I supposed to know what my in-laws wanted for Christmas?!?
For four years I would bang my head against the wall every December wondering what in the world I would get for everyone while attempting to stay within a very meager newlywed (poor) budget. While lamenting my case to a co-worker one day, he very nonchalantly tossed out that his wife opted for a photobook every year for both sets of parents that captured the events of the families activities over the course of the year. They haven’t dealt with the headache of what to get the parents since, and they love having a growing archive of annual family photo albums.
I opted for shutterfly, because it was the brand recommended to me and they are CONSTANTLY running promotions and discounts. However I hear there are PLENTY of options out there now when wondering what photobook company to go with. Rather than cringing as the holidays approach I get to excitedly anticipate creating our annual book, which is half the fun in itself. Reliving each memory as I select which pages to make, and which photos to include. I usually start in November, so I can capture Thanksgiving as the last event of the year, and take advantage of cyber Monday pricing, (though they run deals all the way up till Christmas as well), then I start each book recapping the previous Christmas/New Year season so I can have the books printed and shipped to my place in time to wrap and deliver as presents for the holidays! I’ve grown to love doing it this way, as I end up marching toward the Thanksgiving holiday with an ABUNDANCE of gratitude and thankfulness in my heart for ALL the blessings and fun we were able to experience with people we ADORE all year long!
Both sets of parents have reiterated on multiple occasions how much they LOVE getting these books, and its become a family tradition now, with my sisters joining in the tradition a few years back as well. It truly is the ONE gift they can’t get for themselves, a beautifully bounded copy of ALL the pictures of their kids/Grand kids captured in one place with fun quips/quotes/stories detailing each picture throughout the year. It’s also TONS of fun for us, as we keep a copy every year, and the boys (and I) LOVE picking them up regularly to see how much they’ve grown over the years and what fun we’ve had together each year.
I will say this gift became a LOT easier to create AFTER kids, when I had more content to include. I think I took a combined total of 50 pictures of Kevin and I during the first 4 years of our marriage together, and then that many the same day Caleb was born. So it might not be the right idea for everyone, but I couldn’t help sharing it as a LIFE SAVER for anyone else that has ever lamented the process of gift giving for the rents or in-laws over the holidays!
Though I usually keep it under lock and key until the holiday, I’ll share a little teaser from one of my pages in this years book!