Christmas Gifts

A Christmas gift that lives on

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Before our move to Uganda 4 years ago, I wanted to do something memorable for the children. A way for them to remember our home and friends here. In an age of digital media I wanted something they could hold in their hands and cherish. That’s when I decided to make a photo book ever year for each child.

I turned to Snapfish because they have the best prices, especially during the holidays, but there are several good photo book printing services (I used Paper Coterie one year when their prices beat Snapfish). Here’s how I do it:

On a day when Adam can watch the children, I sit down with my laptop and go through our year of photos (every year I kick myself for not being more organized). If I was smart I’d start a folder with their names and monthly add to it. Instead I cram. every. year. Will I ever learn!?

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Anyhoo, back to it: I make a folder with each child’s name and the year on it; I also make a folder titled “family” for our family book. After I’ve made the folders, I make sure the photos are edited as I see fit in Lightroom. You can use whatever editing software you have; if you’re an iPhone photographer, I’ve found VSCOCAM to be a wonderful editing tool.

After my photos are in folders and edited, I upload them to Snapfish one folder at a time. This keeps the photos I want to use in each book together and makes it easier to sort through while making the books. I make sure to upload them at the highest quality (even though it takes more time) because I want the pictures to look their best when they print.

Now it’s time for the fun part: making the photo books! I like to include special events and memories from the year and I let the photos do the talking with very little text. Snapfish’s embellishments look promising this year and I’m planning to try them out. But again, I don’t add much text as I do believe the photos speak for themselves.

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One thing I do add is encouragement for my kids about who they are. I want them to be able to look back at these books and know exactly how I feel about them. How much I love them and cherish them. I want them to remember to believe in themselves and to like themselves! Sometimes we need hope reminders–that’s what I’m making. Reminding them of the beauty of life. Photos do that for me.

Whatever you choose to do, have fun and make it meaningful for you and your family. These are treasures that live on and often times I will find my children poring over our albums. They love to remember. To see how they’ve grown.

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Just a few weeks until Christmas but you’ve got time still to make a lasting memory and meaningful gift.

Grace and Peace.

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