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Last Minute? Photo Gifts! You Win Christmas!

My final Canon PIXMA post, folks, the one where I go “Oh my Christmas cookies, Canon IS Santa!” and save Christmas by a pixel. Read this if you want to 1) save Christmas or 2) feel superior to me in your Christmas preparedness. We’ll see who’s laughing on Christmas.  ;)

Ladies and gentlemen, we have officially reached The Last Minute. It’s too late to order gifts from Amazon without paying $9.99 per item expedited shipping and I don’t feel like giving everyone gift cards printed on a piece of paper.

Sure, I could go out shopping, but I have three kids and I’m not into torture. I’m willing to make one trip to maybe one or two spots and that’s it, so I need to make them count.

Did I mention that I haven’t even begun Christmas shopping?! Right. This month has been one of those months (as evidenced by my dearth of posts on my lovely blog here) and I’m thisclose to calling it. But you can’t. Not on Christmas. You have to bring it.

Now, how am I going to pull on heartstrings and do it through roughly two hours of effort? I’m going to kneel at the altar of my Canon PIXMA printer and create heartstring-yanking gifts that keep on giving: photo gifts!

We can do this, people.

What do we need?

  1. photo-quality printer
  2. photo paper
  3. digital photos
  4. basic photo editing software
  5. frames and/ or photo albums
  6. Christmas spirit and lots of coffee

 

A few years ago, we were flat out of money and I decided to go the photo-gift route. I spent some dedicated time choosing photos and editing editing editing. The result? The best round of gifts I’ve given in years. The key to the perfect photo gift is good editing. I don’t mean fancy filters and understanding layers.

Nope. I’m talking “auto fix” and cropping until you’ve nearly destroyed the enlargement quality. No one needs to see the background of your house and no one cares that the photo was taken in front of the Eiffel Tower. Grandparents just want your kids’ faces! So crop in tight.

My favorite free photo editing software is Picasa and I mention it here because you probably already have it. I love it for photo gift projects because it has facial recognition software, enabling you to scan for the perfect smile from a particular person you have tagged. This comes in handy when you need just two more shots of that one kid and don’t want to scan through hundreds of family shots to find them.

Then crop in tight (ideally so the child’s face could be seen across the room) and hit “auto fix.” Don’t over-think it. Seriously.

Did I mention the PIXMA is WiFi-enabled? That means I did all of this from my couch, sending everything to our Canon in the other room. No need to hover over the printer, making sure nothing is snagging or that colors are dragging. No, you just choose, edit, send and print. As long as you’ve loaded the printer with enough photo paper, you don’t have to get up again until you are ready to start framing.

The Canon PIXMA silently prints smooth, bright, sharp, high quality color images at approximately 20 seconds per 4×6 print. You can even print stills from HD videos you’ve shot! (perfect for the mom that realizes all she’s shot is videos for the entire month. ahem.) Prefer black and white? We’re talking contrast to make your artist’s heart weep. Maximum 9600dpi. I know. I know!

My point is, this is simple. It’s gorgeous. And it is thoughtful in a “three years down the line you’ll look at the photos on your in-law’s walls and appreciate your own awesome” kind of way. Tell me another gift that will warm the old cockles three years later?

Select. Edit. Print. Frame. Wrap. You win Christmas.

• • •

Many thanks to Canon for sponsoring this post and for providing me with a brand new PIXMA printer to save the day, yet again. Essentially, without this campaign, I would have gone to Bad Mom prison. I mean, seriously? Go buy one and save yourself.

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