Friday, December 16, 2011

The BEST Christmas Tradition EVER...


Five years ago, I convinced both my family and my husband's family to forgo a typical gift exchange at Christmas and instead... to exchange family scrapbook pages.  Surprisingly, everyone was on board pretty quickly and we decided to each create a 2 page layout that depicted our family that year, then duplicate it for everyone and exchange.  As you can imagine, we now all have an AMAZING family album... and with our 5th year approaching, it is becoming a true family treasure and heirloom.


If you add together both families... my husband and I have 9 siblings... and 9 families is tough to keep tabs on, especially when we live all over the country, literally.  With us in New Jersey and siblings as far West as Washington, it's a challenge to stay connected.  I haven't seen some of the sibling families for years, but every year... I am excited to get their pages and see how their kids have grown.  I'm also excited to show them what our family has been up to as well.  Anytime my kids want to see their cousins... we can pull out our album and it keeps them close.

Just last month, we attended a wedding and my brother-in-law got out his album to show his kids which cousins were coming to the wedding.  Even though it had been more than 2 years since we had seen them, the kids knew each other immediately.  It was awesome. :)



The first couple of years, I scrapbooked my pages with paper and after duplicating the same layout 12 times (1 each for the 9 sibling families, 1 for both sets of parents, plus a set for myself)... it became a near impossible (and expensive) task.  That's when digital scrapbooking was born in my heart - I realized I only had to create the page once... then with a click of the mouse, ordering duplicates was easy and WAY inexpensive.  With printing AND shipping, our family gift exchange on both sides together costs me less than $40 a year.  It's not only brilliant from a budget perspective, it's creating a priceless album that we all love and cherish... far more than any game or sweater we might have gotten each other.

Like I said.... BEST. TRADITION. EVER.

Just like with all the printables you see on my blog and in my shop... I use a super easy scrapbook design program called Scrapbook Max.  They are offering a free 30 day trial, so if you are even just curious about giving digital scrapbooking or digital art a try... you should give it a whirl!  I have several tutorials (HERE) to help you get started and will be easy tasks to try out with your trial.  Give it a try, I'm betting you'll be glad you did!

17 comments:

Robyn said...

That is a fabulous idea! I really need to get into digital scrapbooking, I love the possibilities! (Plus, my husband would love it if I stopped asking him to do all my photo-shopping!) One day...hopefully soon!

Robyn said...

Oh, and I have already "pinned" this! Seriously, you are a genius! :-) MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Amy said...

This is a great idea and creates a priceless keepsake. Now to get my family on board with digital scrapbooking. :)

Kristin said...

I'm with Robyn..I've already "pinned" this, posted to facebook, and sent out emails. FABULOUS idea!!!

Alison said...

What a fabulous idea!! I love your pages and love your genius idea!! Thank you!!

Lacie said...

I have wanted to do this for a few years now, just haven't gotten everyone on board yet. I love your pages!

Lacie said...

I have wanted to do this for a few years now, just haven't gotten everyone on board yet. I love your pages!

Lene said...

What a wonderful idea. I haven't jump into digital scrapbooking, but maybe it's time?!?

Lori said...

I love this tradition and I'm so glad you talked us into it. It is such a treasure!!! Thanks for the sneak peak on your pages. They look fantastic as always!!! I can't wait to add them to our album. Miss you guys!!!

Jared Rice said...

Hi,
Thank you for your nice article on my computer is my canvas.blog spot.
I like for your good writing.

Thanks

Elizabeth said...

This is a great idea! Seeing this now so too late for this year but I'm definitely suggesting for future years :) Pinning!!!

jennibell said...

This is the best idea EVER! This year for my niece's gifts I created an album for each (my sister downloads her pictures to Shutterfly so she just gave me access to do it) and I'm so excited to give it to them. Now I wish I had one to give each of my children but it's sooooooo incredibly time-consuming. I wish I could get the rest of my family on board with this idea. . .but now you've got me thinking. . .if I just did one layout a month for my family I would have a great gift to give grandparents next Christmas. I'll check out the site you use. Thanks for sharing!

Carol Turner said...

Any chance you will create template pages for those of us not so digitally minded for our scrapbooks?

jamie@eighteen25 said...

such a great idea! thanks for sharing!

Sassy Lewis said...

What a fabulous idea! I'm going to start doing this for my in-laws!!

Anonymous said...

What size do you print them out to be?

Colette said...

We all have 12x12 albums - so we can't print at home. All of us acutally use the same website - it's called www.scrapbooksplease.com. You can get prints anywhere from $0.99 each to $4.99 depending on the quality and paper type you choose. I typcially do the $1.99 prints and am always very happy with the quality.

Thanks!