First of all, I promise you, this is not a sponsored post. (I wish it was!)
My father-in-law was about to turn 80. My mother-in-law decided to plan a little surprise party. She put me in charge of making a slide show to play during the party. She gave me a shopping bag full of photos and let me loose. It was a labor of love to weed through the photos, pick out the best ones, scan them and then figure out music etc. I went with upbeat songs so as not to make the birthday boy depressed. It was a family only party so I was not really worried about keeping the slideshow short (My feeling about photo montages of people you are not related to has been discussed on this blog. In one word, they are… BORING ).
After I finished the montage, I wondered what the heck we would buy for this 80 year patriarch. He is one of those people that has EVERYTHING. He buys the latest and greatest gadgets and loves to shop online. He is impossible to buy gifts for. In my post-scanning haze, I remembered what I did for my grandfather's 90th birthday a few years back. …SHUTTERFLY.
Shutterfly and other online photo companies make great hardcover photo books. For my grandfather's 90th, I made a story book, like a fairy tale…It started with photos of him as a child and then he met the princess (grandma) and the rest of the story of his life in photos. It was really sweet and he loved it.
For this current gift, I just took the slideshow photos and made a large 11 x 14" premium photo book. It is like a coffee table book and turned out well. Everyone in the family wrote messages in it (like a yearbook) so it is an instant family heirloom. It was a big hit and I think that he liked it more than the slideshow.
I decided to make this book 6 days before the party. I paid for express shipping but that still put the estimated delivery window on the day after the party. I called Shutterfly and they said that they could not promise anything but would put a note on the file to see if it could be rushed. It arrived three days BEFORE the party. Thanks Shuttefly…You rock.
I would say that this gift takes a little bit of time and effort but despite it's relatively inexpensive cost (under $100 shipped), it was one of the best things we could have given him.
I've made similar albums for anniversary gifts, thank you gifts and more before. These photo books are make special gifts which show that you put in effort into getting.
Here are a couple of shots of the book that I made for my grandfather a few years ago. (faces have been blurred out to protect the innocent!We all have cute faces in the real world.)