No time left? Give an IOU

Wait a minute…how did this happen? Today is December 22 and I forgot to make Mom’s Shutterfly Christmas gift. How embarrassing!

What makes this especially humiliating is that I took time to plan it out (in my head!) – I just never sat down to MAKE the thing! It was going to be so beautiful too. I was going to create a photo book featuring family images taken throughout 2009 – like the neighborhood barbeques, our trip to Disneyland, birthdays, Thanksgiving, those fun everyday moments around the house, even the new family cat.

And now I’ve run out of time. What am I going to do?

Okay, don’t panic. There’s got to be a way I can salvage my dignity and keep Mom happy.

What’s that? An IOU? But isn’t that for 3rd graders?

Oh, really? IOUs are perfectly legitimate for adults too? Especially during the holidays? In fact, they can be rather charming?

All right, if you say so, I’ll give it a try…

You know, this is really not a bad idea. Actually, I think I can get into this, and turn my holiday embarrassment into a holiday win.

How’s this for an IOU? I’ll print a letter to Mom, and tie it with a holiday ribbon to make it festive (or use a nice envelope instead). The letter will read like this:

Dear Mom,

I’m making a special photo book for you, and it’s almost finished, except for this year’s Christmas pics. So stay tuned…it’s coming any day now. Meanwhile, here’s a little preview (insert a few  photos that will be included in photo book). Can’t wait for you to see it!

Lots of Love, Rachel

If you’re in a photo book pickle like me, I highly recommend the IOU approach. It will save you from stressing out, and will also keep the people on your holiday list happy. Do you have any IOU stories? Share them by commenting on this article!


  1. Earl J says

    Great fun to read and a fine idea. I should send Shutterfly an IOU for my Poland book — I have got to put more than two photos in it, which is where I am as of today.

  2. Joey says

    This is a fun article Rachel and a great idea which I like very much. I like how you added that you wanted to wait to add the photos from Christmas to the book; that’ll be such a great gift. What a perfect picture of your cat and you & Sarah!!

    I’m surprised I didn’t need to do IOU’s this year. I can’t believe how fast Christmas came. Wasn’t it just July?

  3. BarbaraJ says

    Great idea Rachel! I like a holiday book of all the special times during the past year, Valentines, Easter, Birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Mother’s day and father’s day also can be included. There are so many different ideas. You can even print out a page on your computer in a smaller format and add photos for a IOU!

  4. rsheedy says

    I love Ann’s idea of letting the recipient pick the theme. I love to make photobooks as gifts, but there are times when I want the recipient’s input. I think this is the perfect way to do it w/o spoiling the surprise.

  5. jenyfur1 says

    I am working on my two IOU’s right now….I gave my grandmother and my mother-in-law both a card with my thoughts plus “I gladly owe you a photo book! Can’t wait to give it to you!” It was my husbands idea for me actually, and then I came across this blog! :o) For them, I compile the past year of pictures relating to them mostly, and then some others of our family….makes for a pretty huge book because I take a gazillion pictures of every family member for every event..since I give them for Christmas, I usually include the Christmas before….but now they will have two Christmas’ plus New Years! haha
    Next year if I don’t finish them all again, I will use your idea to include a preview…

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