Wednesday, December 01, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 1 - A Gift

Woohoo!!  It's finally here!!! 

12 Days of Christmas, Erin style, has begun!!! :)

Today, Day 1, I'm going to show you a gift I give every year to my parents.

I struggle with gift giving.  I never know what to get or give to people....especially my parents!! 

My parents need for nothing!  They have great jobs, a beautiful home, nice cars, all the toys they can imagine or want.  If they want something they pretty much buy it.

And I don't want to give useless junk just to say I gave them something and the make them feel obligated to keep it and store it or display it! 

What do you give to someone who has it all??  I used to ask myself this every-single-stinkin'-year!

So, about 5 or 6 years ago I came up with something they didn't have and I knew would be personal and cherished....a scrapbook!

BTW...All these samples are from 2009. 
Grammy reads my blog and I wouldn't want to give away 2010's just yet. ;)
You parents live in Dallas....we live in Indianapolis. 

So, they only get to see Doodle typically 2-3 times a year.  She spends several weeks every summer with them, we go down every Christmas, and then sometimes Grammy will be 'near' enough to Indy to make a detour visit here and there throughout the year.  But that's about it.

So, since buying them 'stuff' they didn't need seemed silly....I knew they would cherish an annual scrapbook of the Doodle and her year!! 

Not only did they LOVE's become somewhat of a tradition!! 

Here was the problem I encountered Year 1....

I did a traditional paper scrapbook.  A smaller one...but the traditional, cropping, stickers, etc.

Not only was this extremely time consuming....when all was said and done...Grammy got a lovely scrapbook...and to this day I've never had enough time to do one for ME!!

AND...let's not forget that her dad and I are divorced.  So....the scrapbook would be a nice gift for her dad as well.

So you see the dilemma?  Too many scrapbooks...not enough time.

So, Year 2, I decided digital was the way to go!

This way I could just do ONE scrapbook, but print and bind THREE copies of the scrapbook and we would all have one.

I purchased scrapbook software and it worked out pretty good.  But I didn't find the software to be easy to work with.  But whatever, I made a nice scrapbook for that year and everyone loved it.
SO..............Year 3 I changed it up again and decided I should just use what I know and love.......Microsoft Power Point!!

Yes, my friends, now I simply do my annual scrapbook in basic, good 'ol, Power Point.

When it comes to working with pictures, I find PPT to be the easiest of all the programs to use!  Although nowadays I could use Publisher as well with the same ease. 

Granted I am a wiz at PPT and I do work with the program for my job almost that helps.  But if you can use any scrapbook program, you could definitely use PPT or Publisher...and that is probably already loaded to your PC! :)

I use 'scrapbook goodies' from  Shabby Princess which is where I get all the nifty backgrounds and pretties!  She offers lots of free packages (which you know is what my cheap self I use) and she offers other packages for great prices! 

She also has a blog The Shabby Shoppe Blog where she shows great digital scrapbook ideas!

I usually start out with a cover, then a little overview of the year, then I break down events that we did or places we went throughout the year, usually in chronological date order since it's an annual thing.

For things I may not have captured on camera or seemed it should be 'captured' somehow (like shaving armpits! LOL) I do a page like this:
I scan and include cute things like Doodle's school work, where she tells all about her Uncle Matt forcing her onto a roller coaster over the summer! LOL

I always make sure Girl Scout things make it into the annual scrapbook:

I always do a pet update...because....well, they are family too! :)

I do 'borrow' logos (like the Girl Scouts logo) for some of my pages.  I do alot of 'borrowing' pictures at my work, so I'm pretty good at that too. ;) 

And I get some pictures from free clip art online too.

And then when I'm all done, I print all the pages out and bind them with wire coil spines...which you can have done at Kinko's or Office Depot or somewhere like that.

Or you can put them into a binder.  Whatever works for you.

So...there you have it!  A very personal and inexpensive gift idea!  And so I'm not caught in super crunch mode (which I have learned the hard way), I work on it throughout the year so when it comes close to Christmas, I can do a few tweak and additions and just print!

This gift is especially nice for out of town relatives!

Until to tomorrow....


  1. oh my gosh, does doodle know you put in shaving?! that is hysterical, i'm sure that was grammy's favorite part. by the way, i love that she reads your blog!

    i sent out these personalized cards i got from blogging, and didn't even explain to my mother about it, besides saying i got them for free. she totally doesn't get computers, and blogging would blow her mind!

  2. What a wonderful one-of-a-kind gift!!! I did a scrapbook calendar of my granddaughter to give to my Mom last Christmas. Unfortunately, she doesn't use it for its intended purpose, but just for the photos!

    Have you ever tried It's fun and easy, and they now let you do 12x12 pages.

  3. That is so fabulous that you are able to use Power Point to create your pages. Do you use a service to print the pages into a book or do you print them out yourself?