Every year I make a family yearbook. It’s my favorite thing to do, it’s super easy and most importantly, it’s FREE! Who doesn’t want a free, professional product that will be a keepsake forever?
Throughout the year, I try to post all of my pictures on Facebook in an album titled for that year. So this year, I’ve already started posting all of my photos in my 2016 album. This makes it super simple to upload photos that actually pertain to that year. I’m always a bit surprised at how much we accomplished that year or how many things we did that I had already forgotten about. Remember to leave captions under your photos with memorable quotes or the names of places if you were traveling, so you can be really specific with your yearbook at the end of the year.
In order to print my yearbook, and have it looking incredibly professional, I use Shutterfly. Now, I know what you’re thinking…Shutterfly isn’t free. And you’re right. Except, they frequently provide codes for free photo albums, especially around holidays, like Valentines Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Because I’ve been saving my photos in the special album all year round, I just wait until a few weeks before Christmas, create my album and snag my awesome Family Yearbook for free! Yes, it’s as easy as that!
Now, to make it truly unique and all-encompassing, I also purchase a clear folder to attach to the back of my album. These are $1.99 and while they’re optional, they’re so worth it! They’re super easy to keep in place because they have a peel-and-stick on the back. The little flap can be permanently secured (why would you want to do that?) or it can be tucked in to the flap so all of your memorabilia remains safely tucked away. I love that these are clear!
Not only do I save my photos, but I save specific memorabilia throughout the year too. I created a catch-all (made from a cheap Betta fish tank) and label it 2015 Memories. I place this bowl on my kitchen counter, where both my husband and I have easy access to it daily.
Throughout the year, we write special memories or quotes on pieces of paper and place them in the bowl. My son just started talking at the start of 2015 so we have lots of little slips of paper with things he said for the first time or with funny things he said to us. I take all this paper and other memorabilia and place it in the clear folder attached to the back of the Family Yearbook. How easy is that?
Each Christmas, we display our Family Yearbooks and we flip through them together as a family. I love that time spent together, reminiscing about fun times and exciting adventures and our son loves it too. Of course, you can leave them displayed all year long or place them on a book shelf in a common room for guests and family to view when they come over to visit. These are always a big hit with my husband’s family, who don’t live in America, because they can easily see and read about the things we did that maybe we didn’t share as in-depthly as we would have liked.
They say a photo is worth a thousand words and I agree…photos are so incredibly valuable to me and that’s why I continue to make these albums. Plus, they’re free…and I sure love that four letter word.
I hope this helps and I hope you take the challenge and create your own Family Yearbook through Shutterfly or any other company that offers free photo books. Let me know how your’s turns out in the comments below!