I’m having an internal struggle this year with Christmas gifts. I’ve been reading a lot of books about consumerism and living with less and de-cluttering and buying things of real value and on and on and on. And I’d really like to tone it down a little for Christmas. Which is hard because I LOVE Christmas shopping and buying meaningful gifts for people. But I’m also super sick of picking up crap everywhere. And my kids definitely do NOT need more toys.
A few years ago I gave each of my kids a photo album for Christmas filled with pictures of just them. Each kid got their own album full of pictures I had taken of them throughout the past few years. Many of those pictures they’d never seen before. That was before I started the picture display movement. I felt like I could start my own movement. So I did. Now they see many of the photos I take of them.
They loved those albums. And still look at them often. And each of them at different times have let me know they need more photos for another album.
So this year I decided to do something similar, but better. Each of my four kids will get an album, some Project Life cards to “jazz” it up a little, Project Life journaling cards so they can write about the photos, their own pen, and a stack of pictures they are in. The album won’t be assembled. They’ll be able to assemble it themselves, put the photos where they want, add whatever filler cards they want, journal as much or as little as they want and end up with their own finished album full of their personality. My 4 year old can’t write much yet, but it will be fun to have at least a few journaling cards with his handwriting even if it’s just his name. I will probably assemble the album for my 3 year old this year.
You can get a full 12×12 size album or a mini 6×8 album along with some sheet protectors.
If you buy one full Core kit, several kids can use the same kit. I’m planning to let them have access to several of the kits I already have. But if you don’t have any, you can probably just buy one (with a 40% off coupon to Michaels or Hobby Lobby) and spread it out for several kids to use.
Each kid gets a stack of their own photos. The amount will vary depending on the size of album you plan to use. I print them all as 4×6’s and then you can cut them down to fit some of the 3×4 spots (I lay one of the journaling cards over the photo so I know where to cut to make it the right size). I print these either at Costco or York photo online. Or just google 4×6 prints and find somewhere running a sale. (For more info on where to print your photos click here).
Then each kid will end up with their own completed album!
Besides the obvious benefit of them having a book full of pictures of themselves, this gift has other perks. It will take them some time to get it assembled and completed. Which hopefully means they’ll take better care of it and appreciate it more. And keep them busy.
I also hope it will teach them the value of documenting life at an early age and appreciating the value of the stories we can tell through photographs.
This will obviously take a little effort on my part (and your part if you decide to do it). And it’s a lot easier if your photos are already organized (which you can do in less time than you probably fear). But I think it’s definitely worth the time and effort.
Steps to get it done:
Sort through all my photos and “flag” photos of a specific kid using iPhoto. Then I put those photos in a folder to print. And do the same for each kid.
Buy an album for each kid and a core kit (if you don’t already have one). When buying Project Life stuff, I use 40% off coupons at Michaels or Hobby Lobby. Amazon also does sales as well as Becky Higgins direct site.
A gift that matters, has value, and I don’t have to pick up off the floor 8 million times….hopefully.
Do YOU have any gifts you give your kids that have value and meaning? I’d love to hear about them in the comments. I’m always on the lookout for better more meaningful gifts.