just so you know

Simple, sweet Christmas present idea

Last week, I arrived home from carousing with friends to find the rest of my family arrayed on Amy’s and my bed, looking through our daughter’s “baby book.”

As you might expect, this book is a photo album Amy filled with pictures and artifacts from just before and just after Maya’s birth. As the pages turned, Maya was rapt, and Coen was interested as well. As soon as he saw me, he demanded we get his baby book down and do the same thing. We cuddled up at the foot of the bed and did our own reminiscing as Maya and Amy continued with theirs. There were earnest questions, fond reminiscences—in short, it was all so sweet that it makes me nauseous to think about it now.

But the experience gave Amy a great idea for a Christmas present for the whole family: an actual photo album.Think about it: we all take a ton of pictures these days, and then we hardly ever look at them. We’ve never been so well documented, but when do we really review that documentation? (Well, maybe you do, in which case this post obviously isn’t aimed at you.)

So Amy’s idea was to curate some photos, actually print them, and put them in an old-fashioned, honest-to-God photo album that we can look through with the kids.

In our case, the album will be a record of the 5-week trip we took up the Congo to the U.S. southwest last summer. But I could well see doing this each year with the highlights from the year, even if there isn’t some large, marquee experience to document like we happen to have this year.

The advantages of this gift are that it won’t break the bank, and it will probably bring enjoyment for years if not decades to come (as opposed to, well, pretty much everything else you are about to go into debt over).

The disadvantage: you don’t have much time left to pick your photos, order their printing (we use Snapfish, but there are other services), get an album, and put the whole thing together, so you’ll want to get a move on.

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