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First things first. Just want to make sure you all have seen the article about how I’m retiring support for the Pioneer Woman actions on this blog. I have some new free actions for you to download in their place.

We’re “wrapping” up holiday preparations this week. And you won’t be surprised to know that photo gifts are a large part of our Christmas list this year.

Everyone loves sending and receiving photos of their loved ones for the holidays. And when you use photo products as a component of larger gifts, you multiply the creativity and personalization of any gift you give.

But before I begin:

If you are related to me, please STOP READING NOW!

I’m so excited about our plan this year. We are creating a custom games scorebook for each member of our family. These unique photo gifts are meant to be used throughout the year to record game scores in and serve as a reminder of rules for our favorite family games.

We are a game-playing family. Not just the four of us at home – the entire extended family loves to play games together.

Playing cards with my grandparents earlier this year was the inspiration for this gift. My Grandma has used the same notebook for several years to track scores for games they play with friends and family. In addition to who’s playing and what they scored, she writes the name of the game and the location where they played.

Grandma and Grandpa enjoy looking back over the pages to see which vacation it was when they played Farkle with the grandkids. Or who won the game last Christmas. (Because we are, ummm, just a little competitive, these discussions MUST BE HAD sometimes.)

After several months of brainstorming how to make this work for the entire family, I came up with this plan.

We started with plain old notebooks from the grocery store. Something like this:

Composition Notebooks for Unique Photo Gifts

I attached an 8×10 collage from Mpix onto the front cover. Each collage has photos of us playing games with the recipient of the gift. The collage below is the Wonderful Together collage.

I used the Mini Grid Vertical for some collages too – it has customizable text.

Logos from our favorite games decorate the inside front cover.

And the next page has a personal note explaining what the book is for and sharing memories of games we’ve played with them.

The next few pages contain the rules for our favorite card and dice games. These are the games whose rules aren’t written anywhere and they are played slightly differently from family to family. (The best thing about these pages is that Grandpa won’t be able to change the rules mid-game anymore!)

The games I included are:

  • 10,000
  • 31
  • Farkle
  • Canadian Canasta
  • 3 to 13
  • Ticket to Ride with 3 boards. (Yep. TRIPLE Train Game.)
  • Spoons

We also inserted a Yahtzee scorecard to remind everyone how to keep score when playing away from home.

And finally, the remaining pages have this stamp at the top of each page. We ordered it from the StampMaker. It’s 6 inches wide by 1 inch tall.

We stamped it about 175 times on each of 15 notebooks. That’s 2,625 individual stamps, in case you are wondering.

We wrapped each notebook up with two decks of cards and 6 dice.

Mpix has photo playing cards if you’d like to add an extra layer of personalization to this gift.

I find that the older I get, the less excited I am about gifts I might receive. But I am beside myself waiting to hear what my family thinks about their gifts on Christmas day this year.

Other Unique Photo Gifts:

Mpix offers a wide variety of photo gifts that you can incorporate into a larger present. For instance:

  • Prepare a photo calendar and include pens and sticky notes to supply a household planning center for the year.
  • Use photos to create holiday ornaments. Include hot chocolate, candy canes, and marshmallows for a tree decorating party “in a box.”
  • Fill a photo keepsake box with mementos like ticket stubs, other photos, and add a new piece of jewelry to make it extra special.
  • Personalize luggage tags and give them with a new suitcase or travel supplies. This gift would be particularly great for a high school or college student.
  • Design a set of Framers and wrap them up with matching housewares for friends who are redecorating their house.

What are your favorite unique photo gifts? Also, what do you think about my game scorebook? What games would your scorebook contain?