Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Timely Tradition [#12daysofblogging]

This post is part of the #12daysofblogging Christmas series being hosted by myself and Erin from Hooley with a Z. There's an opportunity to link-up at the bottom of every post and, of course, we'd love for you to join. For more information on #12daysofblogging check out this post.
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Today we talk beloved Christmas traditions. 
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If I told you about all the traditions I grew up loving, this post would be miles long. Mostly, these traditions come in the shape of pointy toed cowboy boots and flannel pajamas wrapped up and put under the tree -I told you, I'm a sucker for them every year. There's jewelry that I adore and celebrate with a Mexican feast each year to remember that one time we got engaged for Christmas. And a stocking stuffed awkwardly full with books and perfume and little funny gifts because Santa knows me well.

My family loves tradition so December seems to create a bit of autopilot in my schedule as the year comes to a close... This year I wanted to be more intentional in acknowledging and celebrating the joys that come as a result of those memory rich traditions. If I had to pick a most beloved all the traditions in our land, it's easily the annual family calendar. 

This DIY photo calendar tradition started many decades ago when my teenage (at the time) sister decided to try something new for the family. She took a dozen photos to Kinko's where the employees blew them up, copied them, and bound them with month pages. Wah Laaa! Family calendar version one came into existence. 
Thankfully, with the age of smart phones and the Internet, making the calendars has become easier. With two sisters living thousands of miles away, one brother in college, and busy lives, we have used the web to make the photo calendar a yearly tradition that is enjoyed outside of the Christmas season. Not only does our family put one together, but once we were married we started a Thomas Annual Calendar tradition that, for now, includes us and Hazel. The thought of having the calendars when our kids are old enough to be interested warms our hearts! 

This year I opted to put together our calendar using the Tiny Prints web interface. It's simple, upload your pictures, select your design, fill your templates (or if you don't want to, choose Storyboard and it'll do it for you!), then order! 
A few of our favorite features on Tiny Prints' calendars are:
  • The text boxes for writing fun quotes underneath your pictures. We don't do this every year, but had a few we loved so decided on quotes for 2014. 
  • The unlimited number of pictures you can have on a page. Obviously there's a ridiculous amount of Hazel pictures each year, so we decided to do a month dedicated to her sweet mug. It's fun to see the collage!

  • Their full page spreads are GORGEOUS. And if you're photo isn't high enough resolution, a little yellow warning triangle will appear to let you know (I used another application to make another calendar that doesn't offer such a service and I ended up with low resolution, grainy pictures that irk me half to death).
 
  • You can put pictures on important dates... Like birthdays, anniversaries, special memories. Our September always looks especially festive because there's quite a few big dates to remember. 
The best part: you can order as many as you need to knock out a big group of family in a single effort. I ordered 6 for my family this year and was happy to mark so many off my shopping list. Regardless of what features you use or how your design your calendar, these are fun for years to come (no, we don't throw any of ours away!). 

16 comments:

  1. I make a calendar every year for my parents! :)

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  2. The hunger games quote makes me teary.

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  3. Our family does the same thing! Ours started with my grandma making them for all the moms in the family, and after my grandma passed away, we thought there would be no more calendar.... But we were wrong! That sneaky grandma had one more made and told the man at the store that she would be passing very soon and to help my grandpa so he would never stop the tradition. Since this is our first Xmas Married,I am waiting for mine this year :)

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  4. i love family calendars! i made one of my daughter for my inlaws and they LOVED it.

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  5. Super cute idea!!

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  6. LOVE THIS. With everyone moving away this year (Rome and New York), I just might try this with all our family pics!! Thank you SO much for the awesome idea and tips. Hope you're enjoying Mexico! Feliz Navidad!!

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  7. What a great idea! Love your quotes. My sister and I have been giving each other calendars at Christmas for as long as I can remember. We have started making photo books of our trips together in the last couple years. This is a great way to combine the two. Love it!

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  8. I need to get one of those calenders! I'm always looking for a fun way to display pictures and I hadn't thought of this yet!

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  9. I love this calendar idea.. I might have to do for family next year. That would be so fun.

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  10. I made one of these when I was younger (by hand, I don't recommend it, thank goodness for the internet and services like these ha). I love that y'all do it every year, such a cute tradition!

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  11. I make a calendar for my brother and sister-in-law every year as their Christmas gift. I hope that they love it as I have done it for 3 years now. Lol. I love it!!

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  12. Oh my gosh what a GREAT idea! I love new calendars... I should totally make one of these for next year! :)

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  13. This is the sweetest story I ever did hear. Literally. Because there's something about caring for someone (or watching over them) after you've passed away that's just a beautiful, heart-wrenching thing. LOVE.

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  14. Girl, it's simple(ish) but so wonderful to do AND everyone gets involved by sending in their favorite pictures and that's a lot of fun to get to look through… Especially if there's distances and time zones that make seeing one another such a task!

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  15. I had never done a photo book until Jason insisted we have one from our honeymoon… Now they're our favorite way to have pictures and little snippets of memories from our trips! (Although, it doesn't get me as excited as the calendar does)

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  16. I appreciate the idea! Two sent out to the in-laws and the grandparents. They loved them!! Hope yours came out to your liking!!! Happy Holidays.

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