Many years ago – going on too many to count – my honey and I gathered all of the undeveloped film in my in-laws house. Remember film??? Came in tubes, you put it in your camera without trying to expose it so it was no good??? Ringing a bell with ANYONE?!?!
Anyway… We paid to develop the film in their house. There were rolls in baskets, rolls in drawers, rolls on the table, the kitchen counter… You name it and we likely found a roll of film there of all shapes and sizes. Some 35mm, some 110, some APS, there may have even been a Kodak Disc involved. All told there were 50+ rolls of film to develop. We gathered coupons and bargain shopped deals. Eventually all photos were developed and we painstakingly took the time to try to put them in some sense of order in an album. Let’s just say there were photos of my honey as a VERY young child that had not been developed before. We presented the album to them for Christmas that year. It was the most joyous Christmas with so many stories being told.
The very next year I wanted to replicate the same type of Christmas. With all of the past being developed it was time to move to the present. I gathered pictures from the entire year and took them to Walgreens to make a photo calendar. I sat at the booth and scanned in pictures and arranged them on the calendar just so. I placed my order and returned a week or so later and paid $25 for the calendar. It saddened me that I would only buy one – they were far too expensive to purchase for everyone on my shopping list.
Then and there I decided that I would make calendars of my own. I purchased appropriate software. I purchased a binding machine. I bought binding clips and paper and printer ink and card stock. I gathered my paper punch. The very next year I started making calendars for the immediate family. No more than 3 0r 4 were made. Everyone adored them. I got requests from other family members for one of their very own.
Thus exploded a new tradition.
I’m up to about 15 calendars now. They are the joy of Christmas. With all of the equipment I purchase for them I end up spending about $7-$10 per calendar – sometimes less. I try to make them unique. I include holidays and birthdays. I go through pictures from the entire year. Sometimes I include inspirational quotes, sometimes recipes. The calendars are passed around for everyone to look at and compare to their own.
My favorite payout of the work I put into these is not the smiles of everyone who receives one. No, instead it’s the fact that the stories continue. The stories that the youngest generation don’t much care for now but will someday be thankful they know.