by Joy Starlin

The leaves are turning, which means it's time to start turning our thoughts toward the holiday season. In my family, it means it's time to draw from the hat to determine who among the adults in my family we'll each be buying for this year. This practice has kept our spending onChristmas at manageable levels, and kept the kids getting most of the presents in the family. It also helps because it allows us to take a little more time thinking about what to get for the person we drew, and be sure to get them something better than the usual gift certificate from their favorite store. Homemade Christmas gifts are a favorite present to receive in my family.

My Mum has bins of photographs from our younger years that are simply lying around in her basement, not getting appreciated by anybody. I'm sure that there's an individual in your family in the same predicament. Perhaps it's you. If so, you're in the ideal position to make use of those old pictures to give your family a unique homemade Christmas gift that they will absolutely love!

If taking all those family photos and converting them into something creative appeals to you, then the first thing you'll want to do is get them all in one place and digitized. Most people have a digital camera these days, so it should be easy to get photos from your family members to add to your collection. You'll even be able to get them from Great Aunt Nancy, even though she won't let them out of her house. All you have to do is take your digital camera over to her place, lay the photos out on a flat surface with good lighting and take pictures of the pictures with your camera. Just make sure you don't have any visible glares on the prints when you take the picture and you should be fine. Your other relatives will be happy, too, because you can then easily share them all online. You will want to digitize all of your pictures anyway so that they will be the same size when you use them in your project.

Now that you've collected up all the photos you want to use, you want to take into consideration what kind of photo gift your recipient would enjoy the most. Do they have a favorite store they shop at? Is their house decorated with a particular theme or in a specific style? Once you take a little time to think about what they like, it should be easy for you to come up with an excellent gift choice. For instance, does your sister collect keepsake boxes? If so, you can get one imprinted with a family picture on top, and put copies of more pictures inside.

Does your brother enjoy old films? What types of books does he prefer to read, or what kind of music does he enjoy? Take your knowledge along with you when you visit the local craft store and commence hunting for various components you can mesh together to create an ideal gift. You could potentially grab a relatively inexpensive photo album and spruce up the outside with ribbons, appliques, stickers, dried or artificial flowers or a variety of items you will find at the hobby store. Simply glue these items in an attractive arrangement on the album, fill it with photographs that complement the theme you came up with and you have a fantastic present for him.

Does your partner spend his or her weeks sitting in an office? If that's so, perhaps a mini photo album containing family pictures would be the appropriate present. That way, as soon as your husband or wife requires a mini-vacation from their boring day, they just need to pull out their family photo album to remind themselves exactly why they are spending time gazing at a cubicle wall - to help support their family. Most of the places that enable you to store digital photos online will likely print out photo books for you.

You will find numerous choices you are able to pursue that can take advantage of your cherished family photographs and turn them into something sensible in addition to decorative. All you need to do is devote a little time bringing the photos together and thinking creatively about what the recipient would love for a gift and you could merge the two ideas into a gift that will be appreciated for some time to come.

About the Author:

Joy Starlin has spent 20 years developing customized gifts and sharing them with others. Now she is sharing her knowledge using her website on photography albums. If you're looking for ideas on giving a personalized photo album to a loved one, be sure to click through the link and read the article.