Do you still have Christmas shopping to do? If you are like me, you want to give a gift that is meaningful and personal and something the person will actually enjoy and use. And it has to be affordable too. Sometimes I get stumped on what to give and I don’t want to settle for a boring sweater, and then I remember photo books. This is such a versatile gift because you can make any kind of book you want to fit the recipient and books are surprisingly easy to make. If you don’t have a lot of time, you can even use the automatic book creator offered by most companies. You just upload your pictures and choose a theme and let the software put your images into the layout automatically. And presto, you’re done.
If you are stumped for ideas, try these out:
- Top 10 for 2012 or Year in Review – Include highlights and favorite moments from the last year.
- Family Cookbook– Whether it’s grandma’s special casserole or your brother’s “secret” barbeque sauce, you can gather your family’s favorite recipe traditions into a cookbook. You can add stories about favorite times you shared these special meals and illustrate them with family photos. Mixbook.com and Shutterfly have special recipe book themes that work perfectly for this type of book.
- Brag Book – This is a good one for grandparents and aunts and uncles. Gather photos of the kids taken throughout the year and plug them into the automatic photo book creator ( Mixbook.com and Shutterfly have this feature as well as Snapfish and others) and they’ll all be placed into the template you’ve chosen. You can adjust the layout as you like and add fun captions. You can make the same book for everyone and that will really cut down on the time involved.
- DIY Guide – Did you do a remodel of your kitchen, bathroom, backyard, etc.? Put together a book to show the before look, the renovation at various stages and the new look. This would be a nice one for the hubby, especially if he was overseeing or doing the work.
- Travel Guide – Pick a vacation spot you’ve visited and compile tips about where to stay, eat and sightsee. You could include pictures of the beaches you liked the most in Hawaii and what you liked about them, pictures of you in restaurants you enjoyed and even scan and upload a menu if you kept one. I did this for a trip to Maui and included my favorite casual restaurant, Coconuts. Even thinking about it has me salivating to return.
- Everyday Moments – You probably have tons of candids, Instagrams and other pictures on your smart phone that you took throughout the year. A book featuring random fun moments can make a great gift.
- 10 Things I Love About You – perfect whether you are newlywed or if you’ve been married 30 years. You can pay tribute to your significant other with favorite photos taken throughout your relationship.
- Kids Artwork – You probably have way more of your little one’s art creations than you can display on the fridge and distant grandparents and other relatives may not have seen them. You could compile a book with your kid’s best art to show family members what they’ve accomplished and how they have grown.
- Custom Children’s Book– This would be great for the young kids just learning their alphabet or learning to read. You could do an alphabet book: A is for apple. B is for ball. Use your own photos and help your child, niece, nephew or grandchild learn and practice their ABCs. I know what you’re thinking. Where do I get a xylophone? Well Mixbook has a really cute theme called the ABC Alphabet Book that will help you out. You just need to insert photos of your child and family. In fact I have a post you can read here about how I made an ABC book using family photos to illustrate the alphabet letters.
- Coffee Table Book – A collection of your favorite photos could make someone’s day. You could have a theme of the seashore, wildlife, whatever strikes your fancy and photo collection.
Photo Book Savings
Now for some deals. I’ve found some excellent deals on photo books and you still have time to make them and get them shipped in time for Christmas, but you need to hurry. Everything is listed here on my deals page and I update it whenever new coupons and promos come out.
Time is getting short. See the chart below for shipping schedules to make sure you get it in time.
Shutterfly’s Shipping Schedule:
Standard Shipping – Monday Dec 17th
2-Day Shipping – Tues Dec 18th
1-Day Shipping – Wed Dec 19th
Mixbook’s Shipping Schedule:
To get your order by Dec 24 you must order by:
Dec 16 Ground
Dec 17 Priority
Dec 18 – Express
Dec 19 – Express Rush
Snapfish’s Shipping Schedule:
Cards, Books, calendars and prints order by:
12/17 – Standard
12/18 – 2-Day
12/19 – Overnight
My Publisher Shipping Schedule:
Dec 15 for Two-Day
Dec 18 for Overnight