About 10 years ago, I got my first scanner and discovered the wonder of putting my photographs on my computer. This opened up a whole new realm of ways to display and share them, even before the days of affordable digital cameras. That year, for Christmas, I made a calendar for myself and my friends, using photographs of us.
Since then, the photo quality has improved, photos are now taken digitally instead of scanned, online photo sharing sites are popular and personalized gifts are everywhere. But, I still sit down at my computer and put together a calendar every year - now with photos of my children. And all of the grandparents get one as their Christmas gift.
I know that there are sites where you can do this much more easily, but there's something about designing and personalizing a calendar - I take the time to really make it special and unique. Most pages include anywhere from 4 to 10 photos, arranged in a collage fashion. I use fun, funky borders on the photos and tasteful clip art - basically like a digital scrapbook. Many of the pages have a theme - I use photos from the 4th of July for July, Halloween ones in October - and for each girl's birthday month, I include photos of their last birthday and cake. Even though the pictures are up to a year out-of-date when the calendars are actually used, it's fun to see how the girls used to look. My mom especially loves her calendar and looks forward to changing every month.
Ok, this is where having a hubby who's a graphic designer comes in handy, and why it's worth it to me to do it my way and not use one of the many websites out there. Ron's (former) employer prints them out and binds them - for free. Obviously doing a calendar from scratch like this won't work for everyone, but I know there are sites where you can do something similar and I think the costs are pretty reasonable. I love this especially since it takes the stress out of holiday shopping for my parents and in-laws - it definitely works for me!
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