I might not have everyone's presents figured out on my Christmas shopping list, but I have the perfect gift for the special people in Dessa's life all planned out and I am so excited for her to share it with them! Rob and I don't take the task of sharing gifts lightly. We save and budget all year for Christmas gifts and we try to select thoughtful presents that our loved ones will genuinely love receiving. Which is why I am so excited about this year's gift. It's thoughtful, completely unique, personal, and will bring a little joy to the recipient's life every single day for an entire year. Wondering what this magical gift could possibly be? I'm going to tell you, and there's a good chance that you'll roll your eyes because it doesn't sound the least bit creative or unique. But hear me out, because this gift has the most unique spin EVER. Are you ready?
It's a photo calendar.
I know, I know. Photo calendars have been done a million times before by a million companies and I promised you something unique. But here's the thing … this isn't a wall calendar. It's a page-a-day, tear-off calendar filled with 365 different photos of Dessa. I told you it was unique! We gave several family members and loved ones a custom-printed daily calendar from Social Print Studio last year and the gift was an absolute hit.
Every single recipient was surprised by the novelty of the gift and immediately flipped through the pages for a quick preview of the coming year. Right after that, everyone asked if every photo in the calendar was different. Of course, it was! This is me we're talking about. I always keep my camera nearby and love the challenge of capturing photos that showcase Dessa's little personality. Dessa was only four months old when I designed and ordered last year's calendar so it really was a feat to fill it with 365 different photos of my adorable girl. But I proudly rose to the challenge and everyone loved the gift. The hardest part was waiting until January 1 to start using the calendar.
After the new year finally arrived, I received countless texts from friends and loved ones telling me how much they enjoyed tearing off a fresh page each morning to see the photo of the day. The pages themselves were a nice, heavyweight paper that exceeded my expectations. They were thicker and much better quality than the commercially printed page-a-day calendars you find in the stores this time of year.
Once removed, the calendar pages easily take on the role of a gift that keeps on giving. We gave one calendar to a friend who has three girls of her own and I often heard stories about her daughters saving their favorite pages from the calendar for their own personal collections. Last year, when I was still in the classroom, I took discarded pages from our home calendar and placed them in my kindergarten prize box. You wouldn't believe how often my kindergarten students excitedly selected a photo of Dessa as their prize. And it isn't just children who find creative ways to repurpose those cards. We have countless calendar page bookmarks around the house and a pile of cards with photos that are too cute to throw away. I'm telling you, this is one of the few gifts guaranteed to delight the recipient every single day of the year.
Creating the Daily Calendar
I already love Social Print Studio for creating such a wonderful, high-quality product for gift-giving. The fact that they make it so easy to upload and customize the calendar is just icing on the cake. Last year I hurriedly uploaded the photos, rearranged a few of them, and submitted the order so I could receive the calendars before Christmas – and it was a success. This year I created a fresh set of 2019 calendars for Dessa's loved ones, but I made it even better.
I've known all year that I wanted Dessa to give her family members a 2019 calendar for Christmas this year and I've been gradually saving my favorite photos to a special folder on my computer. I had already narrowed down my favorite photos from the past twelve months, which saved me a lot of time. It's fast and easy to upload photos into the calendar template. Social Print Studio makes the process as simple as possible, but they offer customization options to help you perfect the calendar – they even offer five different daily calendar format options.
Social Print Studio automatically crops all of your uploaded photos so the images fit properly on the calendar page, but you can adjust the crop of any photos to maximize the cuteness in each frame. They also have an amazing “randomize” button that automatically mixes up your photos to mix them up throughout the year (so that I didn't have all 5 photos of Dessa playing in the leaves right next to each other).
Each photo can also be custom sorted and moved into specific dates of your choosing. I started by randomizing the photos of Dessa, then individually moved a few dozen photos into more logical places. (Photos of Dessa in a swimsuit got moved to the summer months, photos with pumpkins were moved to the fall and Christmas photos were pushed to December.) I also made sure that each recipient will have the added surprise of seeing a photo of themselves with Dessa on their birthday. (That part took a little extra time to get just right with the interface that Social Print Studio uses, so I made sure to triple-check my work before I had the calendars printed, but I am SO glad that I took the extra step to personalize the calendars for the people we love.)
Best of all, each calendar arrives ready to gift in the cutest little heavyweight kraft paper gift box. Last year I tied a simple ribbon around each gift, attached a gift tag and placed them under the tree until Christmas. No wrapping paper required!
Thanks to Social Print Studio and their daily calendars, we just knocked out a big chunk of our holiday shopping and I am feeling pretty good about it! You should definitely give the website a quick peek for interesting photo gifts. I'm also obsessed with the photo magnets of Dessa that we ordered from them last year.
Want to save $5 off your first order with Social PrintStudio? Just use my special link! (We earn a $5 credit with them each time someone places an order with my code, so it's win-win!)
PS – Social Print Studio also sells standard things like photo books, wall calendars, prints and holiday cards – just in case you wanted to create any other photo gifts while you're at the website :)
This post wasn't sponsored by Social Print Studio and it doesn't include affiliate links. We just sincerely love this gift idea and it was too good to keep to ourselves!