I know. It’s only November 11th and I’m already talking about Christmas. But this gift idea may take some time to coordinate so I wanted to give you something to chew on. My favorite Christmas gifts now that I am a parent involve photography and videos (in my previous life, I was all about the bling!) . What better gift than to make a family movie for your hubby, and then recycle it for your family – parents, in-laws, favorite aunts, etc.
Every year, I give my parents and my in-laws a photo calendar from Snapfish (in my opinion and in year’s past, Snapfish has always had the coolest designs and features). My family lives for the calendar, in fact, I’m pretty sure my calendars never make it under the tree even though they are wrapped. My mom always calls me as soon as she receives it to ooh and ahh over the photos. In our house, it has really turned into a competition to figure out which photos are deemed “calendar material”!
Now my hubby is the hardest person on the planet to buy for, not kidding! This guy needs and wants nothing – not complaining, especially in this economy! So my gift of choice this year is to make home videos for Father’s Day and Christmas. These cost nothing but a few dollars on iTunes, but they do take a lot of time. So start now if you’re even remotely thinking about this. I especially enjoy making videos because it forces me to go through my photos and put some sense of order to them, at least twice a year. I’m the worst at scrap-booking, so this is kind of my own version of online scrap-booking. Not to mention , my twins will choose home movies over Baby Einstein and Truck Tunes ANY day. Plus, I don’t feel badly letting them watch it (totally doesn’t count as TV time in my book – this is a history lesson!).
One of the hardest things for me is the music selection for my videos. I will sit down and open up iTunes and forget every single song I’ve ever heard! I guess it’s kind of like stage fright! So I put together a Smarty list of tunes for your movie. Or if you’re not into movies, you could buy daddy an iPod (the Shuffles are super cheap) and load a Daddy playlist for him. Here are my faves:
Have a Little Fun With Me – Glen Phillips
This Little Light of Mine – Elizabeth Mitchell
You are my Sunshine – Elizabeth Mitchell
Three Little Birds – Elizabeth Mitchell
Better Together – Jack Johnson
Banana Pancakes – Jack Johnson
Upside Down – Jack Johnson
Love is My Religion – Ziggy Marley
Over the Rainbow – Jason Castro (yes, this is the guy booted from American Idol but I love this version!)
Clocks – Coldplay (Salsa version)
Little Wonders – Rob Thomas
Shimmer – Shawn Mullins
Fatherhood – Peter Himmelman
Just the Two of Us – Will Smith
Isn’t She Lovely – Stevie Wonder
Daughters – John Mayer
Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
Stay-at-Home Dad – Justin Roberts
Arms Wide Open – Creed
Ordinary Miracle – Sarah McLachlan
Ice Cream – Sarah McLachlan
Beautiful Boy – John Lennon
Luther Vandross – Dance with my Father
Teach your Children – Crosby, Stills & Nash
Sweet Child of Mine – GnR
My list could go on and on. But these are my first picks. Check them out and feel free to add your own to the mix!
Don’t forget to register for our Smarty Giveaways:
– Living Simply: 5 hours of organizational service with 2 consultants valued at $550! Giveaway closes at 11pm on Wednesday, 11/12. Click here to enter!
– Fabkins: 1 set of fabulous cloth napkins valued at $25. Giveaway closes at 11pm on Sunday, 11/16. Click here to enter!.
is there a site that will organize the video or do you do it on your computer and burn the cd there
would love to see an article about good gift ideas for kids and adults
I’m sure there is. I bet it will cost you a mint though. I do it on my mac – very easy in iMovie/iDVD/iPhoto. I know there is a great pc software out there that is just as easy, although I don’t know the name of it. Does anyone else? You could always do a slide show – I don’t have my act together to organize my video footage. I usually just do slides.
Lots of gift ideas are coming the week of Thanksgiving and moving forward. So stay tuned!
Thanks for the great idea. I just got my IMAC and have no clue how to use it yet. Please include an article on Stocking Stuffers. Most of my family is foregoing gifts this year due to the economy, but we are all going to do stockings…would love some good ideas.
I have a PC and I bought software called ProShow Gold (just google it) and it is wonderful- super easy to use and basically you just drag the photos into the dvd… add the music and it burns the dvd for you! Love it! Hope that helps!
2 songs to add:Beautiful Boy- the Ben Harper versionLittle Miss Magic- Jimmy BuffettI have a PC (though would trade for a Mac in a heartbeat to be able to more easily do my own videos), I spent months figuring out Adobe on my own so I could do a video for the twins’ 1st birthday and found in the end that it wouldn’t burn any of my itunes songs I coordinated with all my pictures…ugh, f-r-u-s-t-r-a-t-i-n-g! So I’ll have to check out that Pro Show Gold or go Mac one day! 🙂
One more song idea (sorry)…Forever Young- Rod Stewart
My husband makes great movies/slides using Windows Moviemaker (free with your Windows Package, or download it at Microsoft). It works with itunes, too. A couple of good songs: Find Yourself by Brad Paisley and Our Town by James Taylor, both from the Cars Soundtrack.
I LOVE this idea. Thank you for writing such a fabulous article! Thanks also to the person that shared her secrets about the PC movie software. I don’t know what I would do without Charlotte Smarty Pants. you rock!
Ah, this is what we are doing for our grandparents this holiday! So easy to edit with the MAC. Great song suggestions – I'm definitely borrowing some, I have one more sure to make anyone misty eyed – What a Wonderful World by Louis ArmstrongAnother idea for parents or grandparents is to get their old home videos copied onto DVD – I know there are some local places that do this, just don't know where – I've seen the finished products & they can add songs too (great for the old reels with no sound)
photo books are a great idea too although they may cost a little.Last year i bought two super cute calendars where you just taped a picture on each month( like some Christmas Cards). I found them at the Southern Christmas Show. My mom and mom-in-law LOVED them.
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I have been doing this for years on my mac with iphoto, imovie, idvd and itunes. I send the dvd with photos for the whole year like a “year in review” to grandparents, great-grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles because we are all on opposite coasts. They LOVE them. It costs about $65 to print dvd covers and labels and for all the dvd’s with cases. Not bad for the WHOLE family. When I didn’t have the mac we bought an external dvd burner that came with software to edit on our p.c. They are all really easy to use.
I make a folder called “Christmas Project 2008” in my iphoto and when I load pictures I drag the ones I would like to use in my “year ender video” so that way when I go to make the dvd for Christmas they are all in one place. I also upload the photos I like every month to Shutterfly and make that months page so when it comes time for Christmas all I have to do is finish the Nov. and Dec. photo pages and order.
I love this idea and I'm even more excited about your playlist. I make cd's for baby showers and for my little boys blog so I am always compiling playlists. Here's my baby playlist songs (I combined them all for you)A, B, C, D, E Justin RobertsAmazing Grace The Little SeriesAngel Jack JohnsonBanana Pancakes Jack JohnsonBananaphone RaffiBeautiful Day Rockabye Baby!By and By Father GooseWhen You Say Nothing at All (Live) Alison Krauss & Union StationA Living Prayer Alison Krauss & Union StationMy Own Two Hands Ben Harper & Jack JohnsonThis Land Is Your Land (Live) Bruce SpringsteenFirefly Dan ZanesGodspeed (Sweet Dreams) Dixie ChicksFlying Machine Father GooseSomewhere Over the Rainbow Israel Kamakawiwo'oleWonderful World Israel Kamakawiwo'oleUpside Down Jack JohnsonThe Sharing Song Jack Johnson3 Rs Jack JohnsonLullaby Jack Johnson & Matt CostaHow Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) James TaylorWaiting On the World to Change John MayerYou Raise Me Up Josh GrobanGreat Big Sun Justin RobertsMeltdown Justin RobertsGiraffe / Nightingale Justin RobertsNightingale Norah JonesRosie's Lullaby Norah JonesMaybe I'm Amazed Paul McCartneyThis Land Is Your Land Peter, Paul And MaryDown by the Bay RaffiFolsom Daycare Blues Ralph's WorldBaby Rufus WainwrightPeace On Earth U240 U2Better Together Jack JohnsonBeautiful Boy Ben HarperForever Young Rod Stewart