We have a super sentimental and emotional season ahead, which is going to be even more sentimental this year, because many of us will not be able to spend time together with friends and relatives.
For this reason I think that now it is especially important to make those personal and heart-warming gifts, which will make everyone tear-y and joyous in 2021 and beyond!
Hold on! It is quite easy to achieve (and it won't ruin your budget)!
IT IS ALL ABOUT TRUE EMOTIONS
You get really emotional, when you see photos of people you love.
AND you get EVEN MORE emotional, when you see EMOTIONAL photos of people you love.
So this year, when we choose photos for our photo gifts, let us concentrate on emotional photos only! Let us free ourselves from the „pinterest-seasonal-greetings-cards-style“.
And I mean - all emotions!
Though I myself love all kinds of „silly“-photos, I always give a special attention to grumpy, bored and „mom-leave-me-alone“ photos. You just should know how to blend them in!
It sounds very simple, but very often people print and display photos with unnatural cheesy smiles, where everyone is tensed and do not feel comfortable.
Of course those photos are also a part of your family archive, but they do not bring you (or anyone) so much joy. They are rather a reminder, that you do not feel photogenic, you hate your photos being taken and that getting a family portrait is a modern age torture.
When instead you are looking at the photo, which captures authentic fun, joy and craziness – you feel warm, happy and grateful for these people in your life.
That is why my gift idea number one is
(1) FRAME THE FUN
Choose a picture you like and where your family members – maybe even including yourself (!) are having fun. Do not stress over exposure, focus or other technical things. It can be blurry, too bright, to dark, too cropped – it is OK!
Print it, frame and put on the wall or give as a gift.
And print it big. The bigger the better! You can even make a poster! Why not?
My mother-in-law proudly displays the photo below in her dinning room. The photo is not perfect in many respects, but she loves it and waiting for the moment when three wild boys will run into the house again and her couch will become a battle ship.
TIPS FOR FRAMING
You can absolutely print a photo and frame it yourself!
A really big print looks lovely in a frame alone, but a small print needs a matting. The smaller your print is the bigger matting it needs. This way you can have an impressive framing, even with a quite small print.
If you are going to frame a photo yourself, do not forget to print it out with a white border!
Printing and framing a funny photo is really the easiest way to make a lovely and emotional gift.
If you would like to take it to the next level you can create the whole wall art gallery, which however can be quite a challenge to ship.
That is why my next tip for an emotional photo gift is
(2) YOUR EXTRAORDINARY CALENDAR
Calendar unlocks so many creative possibilities to make a very special gift, that will accompany your loved ones for the whole year.
You can choose a funny and emotional photo to feature every month, but you can also come up with a hilarious theme!
If you have been a parent for a while and have several kids your options are basically numberless. AND the important thing – you will not get overwhelmed, because there are only 12 pages to fill.
I love naughty photos and I try to capture regularly naughty things my three boys do – so basically every day I have something to photograph!
I love turning the chaos of our everyday life into the art and I am also convinced, that the fact, that you are capturing those crazy things and display them in your house or feature them in presents for grandparents (aunts, uncles etc.) - gives your kids an unshakable confidence, that they are loved for who they are and celebrates their childhood joys.
I also believe that displaying those picture helps to create a stronger bound between siblings.
That is why I really suggest you to make a collection of naughty photos and feature them in a calender! It is also great if you feature photos from different years and arrange them in a chronological order, so your kids are growing though the year in those photos.
And if you have many kids – please do not forget to keep the balance! The best thing is when every photo features all of them, but if you include a picture just with one kid, make sure the will be a month, featuring the photo of another one. Do not hurt their feelings! Kids often behave as if they do not care – but believe me – they do! And at any age!
Here are some ideas for splendid calendars:
(A) Different Emotions
“One Grumpy Kid”
If you have several kids you can feature one happy and one grumpy face together. If you have one – play around with different expressions. This way you can have a lovely not boring calendar full of portraits.
“School Year Despair”
Our kids like to tell us, how they do not like going to school and we have a lovely collection of those dramatic photos. If your kids are the same - you could use this idea!
One could feature really sad kids doing homework or going to school on school-months and crazy happy kids, during school-break months. It is great to use photos from different years as well!
Feature photos of your family members, doing something they love! This is a great way to feature some artworks, poems, scary stories, crazy science experiments etc. I like to include a photo of the project together with a photo of the artist at the age this project was created!
You can come up with many ideas depending on what your family gang likes to do. These are some themes I can immediately think of
“A Year of Fried Eggs”
In 2018 my son learned how to fry eggs all by himself and performed this skill at least 200 times. I was documenting carefully his cooking adventure. This is definitely a year we will never forget!
Cooking in general is a great topic to feature, because everyone gets involved either in cooking or eating. You could feature your kids favourite dishes recipes together with photos of everyone while cooking or at the table.
Some not-so-favourite-recipes could be featured as well, for example I could feature “My favourite curry, that all kids hate”.
“Comics | Drawing | Paintings”
Three of five people in my family are obsessed with comics. So this also would be a great way to feature the artists and some of the comics they have created.
“Don't stop the music”
We are all into music and I have many lovely and funny photos of us singing or playing instruments.
This would be a great theme to feature in your 2021 calendar - because most of us miss being able to travel A LOT! Feature different funny moments from different years. You can accompany every photo with a short story.
(D) Family Holidays
Featuring photos from different years, showing how you celebrated together with friends and family is a really emotional theme. This calendar is definitely worth creating at least once!
And there are much more great themes you can come up with!
The only disadvantage of the calendar is that they are hard to keep, when the year is over.
And here we come to the most important and wonderful way to feature your family memories:
(3) YOUR FAMILY ALBUM
If you think, that you are not an album person – please reconsider!
There is no better way to have all your photo highlights together, have them accessible for all family members and feature anything, which is important for you.
Creating an album is time consuming, so if you are not ready to create one now – make a calender, but save those designs and ideas to feature them in an album next year!