Christmas calendars

Christmas Photo Traditions

Christmas photo gifts and traditions ideas from our family to yours.

This is re-posted every Christmas with a few updates I make as I order my own photo gifts!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, although I have been busy with a few online projects, so I haven’t got my inside Christmas decorations up yet.


The Santa Photo

One of my favourite items is up and on the wall now. It’s a collage of our children’s photos with Santa. Each year we visited Santa while he was at our local shopping mall and took the children’s portrait. We just bought the basic 3by5 photo size (with an extra for Grandma), and for 20 years we were able to keep this tradition. I believe our oldest was just short of 2 years old in the first picture, and then we kept it up until about 4 years ago when our daughter didn’t arrive home until Christmas eve. (Santa had left town to make deliveries). I have a composite frame of all of these pictures, and I love to compare the shots from the different years.

A framed collage of children's Santa photos from every year.
Santa photo collage

There were a few early years with tantrums, a year where the 2 youngest weren’t allowed to sit on Santa because they had spilled a drink all over themselves, many years in Grandma’s hand knitted sweaters, later pictures of everyone in hockey jerseys, then basketball, and so on. I recommend this tradition to any young families! The fun is in the story of what went wrong!

The funny thing is – the kids grew and changed over the years – but Santa never did!

A few weeks ago when we visited Cabela’s in Alberta – my husband and I got in line to have our photo taken to fill the last frame – but these two doggies jumped in line ahead of us!

I’d consider taking our dog Max for a photo with Santa, but I think there might be some drama with Max and Santa.

Christmas photo doggies

I have also printed some family snapshot Christmas cards for just the closest relatives. These were from Walmart, and it’s not too late to order next-day photo products at most Walmarts!

6x8 Express Greeting Cards
Walmart next day photo cards

Finally, I started making a family calendar a few years ago for my mother, who had memory loss. We miss my mother so much, especially at Christmas, but the calendar tradition continues.

Everyone in the family has a feature portrait, then there are group shots wherever possible. I order these from VistaPrint each year, and it’s still not too late to order those! I steal the kids’ best portraits from their Instagram accounts – this always brings on “OH MOM!”, but I don’t mind.

I order the calendars in Card Stock Glossy Finish, and I add everyone’s birthdays and special events. This year I added silly holidays like pi day (March 14th) and Star Wars Day (May the Fourth)

Way back when the kids all left for University, I expanded the order, so they could each have a calendar in their own home-away-from-homes. It’s a great way to keep connected, and remind the kids that they are loved and still part of the Borg Collective.

Borg family calendar
Borg family calendar photo

Family calendars
Family photo Calendars from Vistaprint

My plans of making a family cookbook with family photos and images of original recipe cards has come and gone again. I miss the Christmas deadline for printing out a hardcover book with an image wrapped around the front every year. I will get to it soon, I promise. I struggled with my photo scanning and cutting and pasting.

I could have gotten it done, but I wasn’t happy with the overall look and quality of my work. Has anyone done this and is there a particular software that you recommend? I was working with Word, and then Blurb, and I just got frustrated. I also procrastinate!

(Still not done, but maybe once I’m done my online Christmas shopping I’ll start on it for next year)

Family recipe project
Family recipes

A few years ago I made custom posters of an inspirational famous ancestor for their University residences! My youngest has caught on and ordered some sort of custom print of our family dog for everyone. (It was a lovely fuzzy blanket with a lifesize doggy portrait )

Walmart custom photos

Happy Christmas planning!


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