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More is Not Always Better

Each year, in November or December, I start to look around at the gifts that I’ve collected throughout the year… gifts for our kids, for family and for friends. I try to buy things that call out someone’s name to me, so I’m not buying just to buy. I never want a gift to be carelessly tossed aside, but instead, I want to give gifts that have meaning behind them.  

I also don’t want to spend hours in a store, trying to find something just to buy it. More is not always better. It’s just more. More stuff that they won’t use. More toys that won’t be played with. More money spent on things that don’t matter. 

I’d much rather create something that they will LOVE, something that will let me connect & share with family and friends in a more meaningful way. Something that will remind us more of the people around the tree than the gifts under the tree. 

A close up of a golden ornament hanging from a Christmas tree with text beside it.

This holiday season I’m teaming up with Shutterfly to show you some fun options and designs for thoughtful gifts and cards. I love to make gifts that I know will be cherished. Usually, I opt for personalized gifts (even for the kids), so teaming up with Shutterfly was perfect, and they make everything so easy to create too.

I was so excited to go to Shutterfly to make my holiday cards and gifts for this post. 🙂 In fact… I may have put up my tree about a month early just because I was in the Holiday spirit. 🙂 hahaha! (The kids were THRILLED when I told them it was time to decorate!) 

 Today, I want to give you a sneak peek at some of the cards and gifts I’ll be giving this year.  

First, I ordered cards for our family. I know that some people feel the art of a real card is going away, but I have a smile on my face every time I open our mailbox and find a card inside. I love knowing that someone took 5 minutes to remember our family, especially during the holidays. I love knowing that we were on someone’s heart when they took the time to send that card for us and I can display it in our home. 

I didn’t want to give a card that was generic or mass market. I went with these Shutterfly cards because they feel affectionate, warm, and personal – capturing that magical feeling of the holidays when you’re spending time with friends and family. 

So I ordered & personalized a few different cards from Shutterfly this year. It’s always hard for me to pick when each one is more beautiful than the next, but once my designs were chosen Shutterfly made it super easy to customize my cards just the way I wanted. The first one that we ordered was the Wooden Door Monogram Christmas Card. It’s one of their new Gatefold cards. You unfold the card & your story is told. It opens up from the middle to reveal your photos like a present. Plus, we had more room to add more pictures (& words) along with having many options for creative implementations of customization and styling. 

They turned out really pretty.  These cards are high-quality and really feel premium. 

Here’s the front:
A card opened to show photos of a family.

And here it is, once it’s opened & displayed:
A Christmas card opened to show a family walking through tall grass.

We also ordered some Christmas Cards with sparkly, and wooden-looking, envelope liners. The liners come separate, and you just easily put them inside the envelopes, so I added different ones for different cards. I love this sparkly envelope liner:
A close up of a Christmas card being placed into an envelope.

I love that you can order custom envelopes to include your return address. New this year, Shutterfly also offers free recipient addressing, all you need to do is upload your addresses and wa-lah – no more hand cramps!  (Oh- look at the card below, too. I added rounded corners & pearl paper for a little extra touch) 🙂

A close up of a card and envelope sitting on a table.
And I ordered Thank You cards, too. 🙂   I think that one of the best things you can do is to write thank you notes and teach your kids to do the same.  Yes, a text or e-mail works, but the extra effort towards an actual card makes such a difference.  I’d rather give a thank you card that is personalized than send an e-mail or text that looks like everyone else’s.

A thank you card with a variety of family pictures on it.

I had so much fun making these cards and can’t wait to send them to all our family and friends. I also really enjoyed creating some unique and thoughtful gifts. This year, I sat down…..and planned out what I wanted to give each person in our family. Here’s a little preview of each gift – I hope you like them as much as I do.  I ordered so many that I love. It’s so nice that Shutterfly can transform photos into holiday cards, thank you cards & gifts that will make everyone smile. 🙂  


The blankets are one of my favorite gifts, because you can always use them.  I ordered one for each of our children, with pictures of their favorite places at the beach (we go to Hilton Head each year, so a Hilton Head beach blanket with their favorite places & memories was on my list… it turned out great!)  I ordered one for my mom and one for my brother’s family, too.   They are practical & beautiful… all at the same time.

They are so soft (I went with the Extra Plush Fleece Blankets.). They come ready to give, already wrapped in a perfect little gift. I just added a burlap bow for a simple finishing touch.

Gifts sitting under the Christmas tree.

I wanted to get something really special for my mom, my daughter & my niece.  They took a picture last year, at the beach, and all three of them have this photo framed in their bedrooms.  They have such a special bond and are all so close.
A group of people sitting at a beach.

This picture just captures that relationship.
A close up of a sign with a necklace lying on it.

I wanted to do something special with it. I wanted to capture it and somehow preserve the memory forever.   I decided to order a beautiful  Silver Necklace arrangement for each of them and it turned out so beautifully.  It was the perfect choice. I was honestly shocked at how clear it was… how they could make it so small, but so clear. I’ll be ordering a family photo for me, too. 🙂 

Here’s a close-up: 

A close up of a necklace with a photo on the pendant.MAGNETS:
My favorite gifts are the ones that I see often, so when I was thinking about what I wanted to order for everyone, I knew magnets were the perfect choice.  They are seen often and remind us of those little moments that we might otherwise forget.  

This year, I chose the wooden magnets  for our house as well as for my aunt and my mother-in-law.  It’s an easy way to let them know that we are thinking about them all through the year, even though we live so many miles away.    I love the way that the magnets turned out.   

I like each of our kids to have magnets, too.  It keeps their work organized and looks so pretty on the refrigerator.  I could look at their smiling faces all day long.   The magnets are actually REALLY strong and can hold multiple (homework) papers at once. haha! (Yes, I’m already using mine & so are the kids). 

A close up of a family portrait mounted on a round frame.
Every year, we order a new family ornament.   My mom started this tradition years ago and we have taken it for our family, as well.  From the time that our first son was born in 2006, we’ve had family pictures made into an ornament, so we can always look back at how our family has changed.  

I love how Shutterfly gives you the option of shapes and designs, so you can pick which one fits your personality the best.    It’s hard to show how detailed and beautiful these are, with a picture, but in real life they are just stunning.

Don’t forget to include the date on your ornament.  It might not be important to you now, but I try to remember that our children will have these on their tree one day and I want them to be able to show their children the date and talk about their lives “way back when.”

For now, the kids just love to look back at the years when they were younger and see how they’ve changed. Here is our latest one (front & back):

|A Christmas ornament frame with a family portrait hanging from the tree.

A wooden ornament hanging on a Christmas tree.

I hope that those gift ideas were helpful.   I love personalized gifts because they remind us more about the people AROUND the tree than the gifts UNDER the tree.   
Thanks to Shutterfly for working with me so I could show you this year’s holiday card collection and fun and unique gift ideas.


Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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