Tuesday 8 December 2015

Counting the days

With the start of a new year on the horizon, I've already started planning for 2016. I'm not wishing away Christmas, not one little bit, but I do like the fresh start feeling a new year brings and next one should be a great one for us for many reasons.

I'm always quite reflective at this time of year and like to look back on the times that have been, things that have changed and what we have to be grateful for.

You'll know that I love my photos and by this time each year, I love flicking through all the different moments and reminding myself of everything we have done with family and friends.

It's also become a bit of a tradition of mine to make a personalised photo calendar for our parents. I missed a year and apparently my in-laws were really disappointed not to receive a personalised calendar, so this year, with help from Snapfish, I'm righting that wrong! *spoiler alert*

It's such a simple idea but making your own photo calendar for someone is a great gift as it reminds them of fun times, can be enjoyed all year round and it's useful too.

And it really is the thought that counts.

With photo gifts, I can really get carried away sometimes and spend hours getting things just right - I'm a bit of a perfectionist - but when I came to try the Snapfish calendar designer, it couldn't have been easier.

There's lots of different backgrounds to choose from - I opted for a seasonal set - and I chose the biggest design for my in-laws, so there's plenty of room to write in, then slim calendar options for my own parents as they always find these handy to have close to hand in the kitchen.

In terms of ideas, there's so many different things you could do:

* Select photos of your favourite places to visit, as taken throughout the year, to reflect the seasons and remind you of fun things to do together.

* Recreate your child's first year, with a photo of them from across the year, to make you smile every 1st of the month.

* Collect your favourite snaps to highlight and remind you of days one by.

* Why not make your pets the stars of the show instead, and make your own cute cat / dog / hamster calendar?

* Choose at least one photo for each month to represent a family member who has a birthday or celebration at that time of year.

* You could add inspiring motto's, lyrics from seasonal songs or even family quotes to make more of the photos - try using a free programme like PicMonkey to design your perfect picture.

I really like how you can have just one or as many as six different photos per month with the big design and opted to choose photos from 2015 to then represent the months of 2016 and act as reminders of key events.

I also like how, with this design, you can add a photo to a specific date so when it's someone's birthday, you can have their face in place. This takes the personalisation element one step further and really shows how much thought you have put into it.

The whole process was really easy and within five days or so, my calendars were delivered. No-one has a calendar quite like these and it's really nice to know that they will hang in pride of place come 1st January.

I can't wait to see what they think when they open them on Christmas Day!

It's lovely looking back and enjoying the memories of the year that's been - whilst at the same time, looking ahead and planning what 2016 has in store. Would you create a personalised calendar as a gift? What photos would you use?

* I used a discount code as part of my Snapfish order but all thoughts are my own, as ever.

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