The Gift Challenge: Spend Wisely & Make it Personal

by Sam F Posted on November 18, 2009

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The holiday countdown is on – and this year I gave myself the challenge to spend less, but give gifts they will actually remember. I get great satisfaction from giving the gifts they can’t stop talking about. Are they beaming?  Are they touched? Are they amazed that you did this? Could I accomplish this all in one place? Repeat after me: “Shutterfly”. After careful consideration, I am sharing my 2009 personal shopping list. Perhaps my list will give you ideas…

My Immediate Family

My Wife

  • Pewter ornament with color picture of our 3 kids on it as a 2009 keepsake ($29.99)
  • Personal calling cards (50) with her name and contact info to share with other moms and new people she meets ($25)
  • Our family’s year in review as 12×12 photo book so she can reflect on the great year we’ve had (approx $100)

My Kids

  • My 7 Year Old Girl – My daughter is crazy for the Jonas Brothers, so she will love where she is standing next to them in a personalized poster ($19.99)
  • My 4 year Old Girl – My other daughter loves Dora so she will adore being in a story with Dora and her friends on every page ($39.99)
  • My 18 month old Boy –  I will create a durable Snapbook titled “People who love Henry” that features all the extended family near and far to us ($12.99).  This is a great way to connect with the people that love him

Our Extended Families

Mom/Mother-in-Law

  • My mom loves to send handwritten notes, so she will love a personalized notepad with her name on it ($17.99)
  • Silver bracelet with black and white picture of her 3 grandkids ($49.99) so she can brag about them wherever she goes

Dad & Father-in-Law

  • Dad loves having a calendar for his office ($19.99)
  • They loves seeing the grandkids, so I will make an 8×8 version of our year in review photobook.  Tip: I will just convert the one I am giving to my wife to smaller size  (approx $50)

Siblings/Cousins

  • The calendar ($19.99) is something my brother has come to expect
  • Pewter ornament with scanned picture of us as kids ($29.99) that will bring back some great memories
  • Personalized stationery (25)with their name on it about ($30*)
  • 7×9 photo book of the week we spent together this summer ($30) will take them back to the barbeque grill and beach time

Niece/Nephews

  • Posters with my nieces beside Hannah Montana or High School Musical kids are perfect ($19.99)
  • Foam puzzles with my nephews beside the Star Wars characters, GI Joe or Transformers characters will give them a gift nobody else has ($34.99)

Teachers & Caregivers

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Where's my photo?
  1. AnnAbbott Says:

    I do almost of my shopping for my family on Shutterfly for the holidays. Everyone gets a calendar of my arty black and white photos of my kids. I keep these prints near my heart so when the calendar goes out it is a big surprise every year. Also Grandma gets her annual book of the kids in everyday action all year. And Christmas photo cards and Happy New Years photo cards go out in the mail for family and friends. But the new personalized stationary is great. New gifts to give. Yeah!

  2. Joey Says:

    You have a beautiful family Sam.
    These ideas are great. I love the stationary and so many fabulous new ideas.

    I love those personalized posters for kids. I may do the Dora book for my 3 year old neice.
    So many ideas. I knew I should have come here first instead of wracking my brain trying to figure out what to buy people.

    Calendars are a hit. I do one for my parents each year for their home office.
    I also like the foam puzzles for my nephew as well. The stationary makes great gifts for friends too.

    And of course photobooks are a hit. I have my sister-in-laws name so I thought if i could get a photo of each of her friends then I’d name the book Molly’s friends. I’m having a friend of hers help me pick her friends, as I have no idea out of the 300 on facebook. So I hope i get help and people get back to me asap.

    Thanks for these great ideas.

  3. TonetteB Says:

    SAM,
    TONS OF AWESOME GIFT IDEAS IN YOUR ARTICLE! SINCE I DISCOVERED SHUTTERFLY IN MARCH 2009 95% OF MY GIFTS HAVE BEEN PURCHASED THROUGH SHUTTERFLY! I HAVE MADE FAMILY AND FRIENDS MOUSE PADS, PHOTOBOOKS, MUGS, DESK ORGANIZER, COASTERS, NOTECARDS, MAGNETS, & KEEPSAKE BOXES! THEIR REACTION IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU SAID IN YOUR ARTICLE! AS YOU STATED THEY ARE BEAMING, THEY ARE TOUCHED, THEY ARE AMAZED, AND THEY CAN’T STOP TALKING ABOUT IT!!! THE BEST FEELING I HAVE EVER GOTTEN IS FROM GIVING SHUTTERFLY GIFTS AND SEEING THE REACTIONS!!! PRICELESS!!!! MY DAD BRINGS HIS BOOKS TO HIS ROMEO CLUB(REAL OLD MEN EATING OUT) AND SHOWS HIS BUDDIES ALL HIS NEW BOOK THAT I GIVE HIM! MY MOM BRINGS HER BOOKS EVERYWHERE AND SHOWS THEM OFF WITH PRIDE! ALL THE MUGS, MAGNETS AND COASTERS ARE DISPLAYED ALL OVER HER APARTMENT! SHE MAKES ME LAUGH BECAUSE ALL THE MUGS SHE DISPLAYS AND DOESN’T LET ANYONE DRINK OUT OF THEM! MY 2.5 YEAR OLD NEPHEW MASON HAS A HUGE COLLECTION OF BOOKS I MADE FOR HIM! MASON LOVES THEM SO MUCH! HE CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF THEM AND TRIES TO CON MY MOM OUT OF GIVING UP HER BOOKS! HE SAYS, “NANA, CAN I TAKE THIS TO MOMMA’S HOUSE? I NEED THIS!” THEN MY MOM SAYS, “NO, MASON AUNTIE MADE THAT FOR NANA BUT YOU CAN LOOK AT IT”! ITS SO FUNNY BECAUSE HE WILL BEG OVER AND OVER FOR HER BOOKS! LOL!!! THANKS SAM FOR GIVING ME EVEN MORE GIFT IDEAS! SHUTTERFLY IS THE BEST!!!! I LOVE SHUTTERFLY! HAPPY HOLIDAYS! :)

    BY THE WAY, YOU HAVE A BEAUTIFUL FAMILY! THEY ARE LUCKY TO GET ALL THESE PRICELESS KEEPSAKES THAT YOU CREATE! :)

  4. TonetteB Says:

    BY THE WAY, I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW THE PUZZLES WERE FOAM!!! WAY 2 COOL!!! YOUR NEPHEW WILL LOVE THAT SO MUCH! THANKS AGAIN SAM FOR ALL THE AWESOME GIFT IDEAS! I THOUGHT I KNEW THE SELECTION AND PRICES BY HEART OF EVERYTHING SHUTTERFLY CARRIES BUT I’M GETTING EVEN MORE AMAZING GIFT IDEAS! :)

  5. TonetteB Says:

    OH AND HOW CAN I FORGET ALL THE 18 MONTH CALENDERS I HAVE MADE FOR EVERYONE IN MY FAMILY! I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!!!! EVERYONE IS THRILLED WITH THOSE!!! THEY ARE SO FAST AND FUN TO MAKE! :)

more about Sam F

My name is Sam and I have been using Shutterfly since 2005. Since my first Mickey Mouse camera in 1970, I have been obsessed with taking photos. Now with three kids of my own, I have even more reason. In my home, I am the chief photo taker, organizer and the guy who does stuff with them. I have made many Shutterfly share sites (family, soccer, school), photo books (for self and gifts), holiday cards, birth announcements and more. I have a million ideas of what I want to do next. I love Shutterfly. Ask anyone.

View all articles by Sam F »

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