12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop – Photo Fun

munchkins_small

A pic we took of my munchkins back in 2008 for the holiday card.

I was so pleased when Martin Crosbie invited me to participate in this 12 Days of Christmas blog hop.  Martin was pretty broad about the topic, so I thought I’d talk about having fun with your photos at Christmas.

Not just taking a fun photo (as pictured here), but doing fun stuff with your photos. Back in 2008, when this pic was taken, I started doing a holiday card and website for my family. This was before Facebook was ubiquitous and if you wanted to share digital pics with family members you had to email them around, and hope your email didn’t get blocked because the attachment file sizes were too large. Or you had to create your own website.   Having created a website for my wedding, the task seemed easy enough, and I set up a website where I posted a holiday letter wrapping up our year along with lots of photos.

A screenshot from our holiday website.

A screenshot from our holiday website, back when a train ride on the “real, live” Thomas the Tank Engine was a huge highlight for the year.

Ever since starting my holiday card and website, I’ve thought the Christmas season was a fabulous time to review your year in photos and do some fun stuff with them. If you send a detailed holiday card, you’re already thinking about what highlights of your year to mention. Well, go ahead and find the accompanying photos to go with them. Once you find them, copy them into a new folder on your computer. Call it YEAR_wrapup (so 2014_wrapup this year; 2015_wrapup next year.) If you put the year in the folder name, it’s easy to search for it.  You’ll often have forgotten what great pics you took, or what a wonderful time you had. So, it’s a joy to go through the photos.

We made a cool photo blanket with photos from family trips. Just one photo can be seen because the blanket is folded, but it's a fun project for yourself or as a gift. (My children initially fought over who got to use it first, so it might be wise to get the same number of blankets as you have children).

We made a cool photo blanket with photos from family trips. Just one photo can be seen because the blanket is folded, but it’s a fun project for yourself or as a gift. (My children initially fought over who got to use it first, so it might be wise to get the same number of blankets as you have children).

Once you’ve found photos you like, you can do a bunch of holiday related things with them. Compiling the photos into a photo book for a relative is a great idea. I’ve found parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles like these. You can use them to make other photo related products, too. I’ve gotten my parents a fleece photo blanket, so they can keep warm under photos of their grandkids. Most photo developers (Costco, Walmart, Shutterfly) make photo books, and photo blankets are made by a number of companies as well (Shutterfly and Collage.com).

Including a photo sheet in your holiday card is an option, and so is posting the photos online for your family to see. Don’t know how to create a website online? You don’t have to. If all the people you want to see the photos are on Facebook with you, you can create an album there. If they’re not, then you can create a Google Drive album. This is pretty simple. You create a new Folder on Google Drive, then you upload all the photos you want to include. Next,  you share it with “Anyone who has the link.” These are the directions, if you’re not familiar with how that’s done (I only learned this recently, from my husband). If you want to know how it looks, this is a folder I’ve shared with anyone who clicks on this link.

I’m putting the finishing touches on my holiday card website for this year, and having just gone through the photos, and I can say truthfully, it’s a lot of fun. I hope you’ll give it a try.

-RJ Crayton

Happy Holidays to you – and remember Life First is on sale for the holidays!

 

Please note that the Life First series is on sale for the holidays. You can get Life First for just 99 cents and Second Life for just $2.99 at Amazon

Please note that the Life First series is on sale for the holidays. You can get Life First for just 99 cents and Second Life for just $2.99 at Amazon

P.S. For those looking for the Friday Favorite Christmas song, I’m going to run that post on Sunday. I got confused about which day the 12 Days of Christmas blog needed to run, so I moved the song post to Sunday, but you can still pretend it’s Friday when you read it, if that makes you feel better. :)

About RJ Crayton

RJ Crayton is a former journalist who now writes fiction. She's reported for the Kansas City Star and Wichita Eagle, as well as the smaller publications Education Technology News and Campus Crime. She has two published novels, Life First and Second Life and blogs for Indies Unlimited and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. For exclusive content and first looks at her new work, sign up for the newsletter at http://rjcrayton.com/subscribe.
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14 Responses to 12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop – Photo Fun

  1. Sorry I didn’t comment earlier. With Christmas, and getting ready to leave town for a month, I’ve been crazy busy. I love this picture idea, and great way to save memories. This is something my mother would love!

    • RJ Crayton says:

      Glad you found time to stop by and comment, given how busy a time the Christmas season is. Preserving memories in pictures is always a fun way to spend some time, so hopefully you’ll get a chance to give this a try.

  2. Angela says:

    Really enjoyed reading this! Some awesome ideas that I will definitely be trying out! Thanks so much, and I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

  3. Laurie Boris says:

    Great ideas! Thank you, RJ.

  4. Great ideas for making memories this year. I will try some out with my kids.

    Also, I look forward to reading your series, as I love dystopian fiction.

    Sarah Lane
    Author of The God of My Art
    Join her mailing list for upcoming novels

    • RJ Crayton says:

      Definitely try a few with the kids, and if you can get them to buy-in, they’ll come up with great ideas. My daughter wanted to dress up as elves this year, though her older brother was against elf wear.

      And thanks for the series mention. I hope you enjoy the books.

  5. Pingback: 12 Blogs of Christmas – Day 12 + Christmas Favorite Song | RJ Crayton

  6. RJ, what a wonderful post! Great ideas and instructions for displaying all those photos we take. (Mine seldom get taken off my camera so I really appreciate all of these suggestions.)

  7. Pingback: Introducing the 12 Blogs of Christmas | Laurie Boris, Freelance Writer

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