How to Plan for a Custom Calendar Gift for Family and Friends

Custom calendars featuring babies and kids are de rigueur for young families, it’s true. And there’s nothing wrong with flaunting all your best photos from the year to show friends and family just how much fun you had – and how beautiful your children are. In fact, the people who love you most will love your calendars – and they’ll likely begin to become accustomed to receiving a personalized calendar each Christmas – with serious consequences if it doesn’t materialize. But it’s not just the typical American family with 1.86 children and a dog that’s making these custom calendars – it’s pretty much anyone with either a creative bone or two (not that creative bones are needed) or an appreciation for savoring good times gone by. Here are six ideas for creating a custom, giftable calendar that are perfect for everyone from college students and 20-somethings to 30-somethings and beyond – with and without families.
2013 Calendar
Friends & Adventures Capture a year of hanging with friends by planning ahead to snap at least one group photo per month. The photo can be taken in the same place each time, or in a spot that reflects your biggest adventure those four weeks. When you surprise friends with a printed calendar for each of them in a little less than 12 months, they’ll love paging through and reflecting on the year. It’s also fun to look back again with each passing month next year. This kind of calendar is perfect for a group of tightknit friends, whether it’s a group of high school friends, teammates, brothers or sisters at a fraternity or sorority, or members of a book club.
Friends Photos
Sports Calendar

Get In the Spirit! To create a collage of holiday-themed photos for each month you can always try to dig up pics at the very end of the year, but it’s better if you plan it out in advance. Even if your efforts aren’t highly orchestrated, just knowing you’re planning to create a calendar that uses photography to capture the biggest celebrations of the month can help you make a point of dressing festively and having a photo snapped. And if you don’t want to dress up, by all means dress the dog or cat up!

This Is Gonna Be Big! If you’re embarking on a big project, whether it’s getting a puppy, having a baby or moving to a new city, tracking the changes that unfold over the next 12 months can be a great framework for a special calendar. If you’re getting a new puppy, snap a shot each month to capture how fast it grows. If you’re having a baby, track the growing belly, then end with a few months of the new baby. And if your big adventure is moving to a new city or something of the sort, chronicle your new life as you discover all it has to offer.

New Baby Calendar

Sports Make the Season Whether you and your family and friends are participants of the games or simply superfans on the sidelines, for some folks team colors mark the season. Create a calendar that features photos of you and your pals rooting for the home team each month of the year. Do it up with face paint, foam fingers, costumes and the most fanatical accessories you can find. On the off months – if there are any – take your stadium cushions and mascot-adorned bikinis and board shorts to the beach for a fabulously over-the-top custom calendar that shouts your team allegiance. You can see why you might have to plan ahead for a calendar project like this…unless you’re really just that crazy.

Spirit Calendar

Seasons Change In stark contrast to the uber-fan calendar idea, you can plan ahead to create a calendar that’s a quiet meditation on the passing of time. Choose a favorite bench beneath a big, beautiful tree and take a photo of you and your family or you and your partner or friends each month. Try to choose a day that represents the typical whether for the month so your photo makes chronological sense – and dress for the season. Compose a shot that captures enough of the surrounding foliage that you’ll see it change in each photo. Then have the photographer stand in the same place (or prop your camera in the same spot) each month. At the end of the year you’ll have a beautifully simple series of shots – one for each month – that captures the subtle changes that took place throughout the year.

Seasons Change Calenar

Art-of-the-Month Club Whether you’re a professional artist who wishes to create a drawing for each month or you’re a parent looking to do something meaningful with all the art-class projects your child brings home from school, a custom calendar is a wonderful way to showcase a year of creativity. Simply scan the original art as it’s produced, organizing it by month, then curate the pieces to showcase in your calendar at the end of the year. I also love the idea of a beginning artist challenging him or herself to learn a new medium over the course of a year. January could depict the very first attempts at, say, a self-portrait, and each month following would show a subsequent (and hopefully better) effort.

Art Calendar

Happy Mixbooking! Happy future gifting and reflecting!

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