Every year, I spend a solid week sitting at the dining room table making calendars to give to my family and friends as gifts for Christmas.
I love making them.
I print the calendar part on card stock. Then, we take them to Copy Corner and get them bound for about $2 each. The calendars are blank except for the name of the month and the days of the week. Then, I take each one and write in the numbers and holidays. For each person I'm giving the calendar to, I also write in all the birthdays, anniversaries and other special days for each family member.
For instance, a couple years ago, I emailed Lynsey's family and asked them to send me all the special days on their side of the family so that I could write them on the calendar I was giving to Lynsey. This year, I also emailed all our friends and asked them to send me their special days they celebrate in their home so that I could include them on the calendars that applied.
Then, on the holidays like Father's Day, Mother's Day, their birthdays, anniversary, instead of just writing those holidays in, I like to write, "Happy Birthday Jason!" or "Happy Adoption Day, Justus!" or "Happy Mother's Day Kirby!"
Each month is decorated with fun paper and my favorite pictures from that year. I sit down one evening and pick out the pictures I want for each person for each month. All the calendars end up having different pictures in them. I think it's especially fun to try and include a picture that corresponds with someone's birthday for that month. So, for April, in my family, I try to put a picture of Kaylyn or Aaron. Then, I send the pictures to HEB in College Station and get to go pick them up the next morning! So fast!
It was extra fun making the calendars this year, because so many of my friends are bloggers or have their pictures uploaded already on slide show dot com, in Kodak Gallery or have pictures right on their blog I could steal and get printed. I loved including pictures of my friends and their kids in the calendar for their family.
This is a fun, inexpensive project, and even though it is labor intensive, I enjoy it, and get to be right in the middle of my house, out in the open, available to my kids while I work. This year, about 8 Scrabble games went on at the same table I was making calendars. So fun.
I had to wait and post this after Christmas, so my friends and family would NOT see their Christmas gift online before they unwrapped it, but I would LOVE to know other meaningful, inexpensive gifts you gave or received this year, or in years past. If you post pictures of them on your blog, I'll link to it, and then repost this whole thing next November to give others some great ideas for Christmas.
Some things we have done in the past are...
Make crosses. Most of them slid right off the frame after about a week on the wall...so that was awful, but the ones that stuck were so cute. I'll get Ashley to send me a picture of hers since it was a keeper, then I'll post it later.
Made mousepads. These are cheap, but come out INCREDIBLE!
We also made coasters. There were four grandkids at the time, so we just did one grandkid per coaster. I don't know if Kodak Gallery lets you pick four different pictures, but Snapfish does.
We made cookbooks, after asking our friends and family members to send us all their favorite recipes they actually use.
One year, Jason and Lynsey made us ornaments...
and they made us the coolest chicken wire picture holder.
Aaron's mom makes blankets for the kids...is there anything better than a handmade blanket? I love them.
I want to know your ideas! Share the love!