When browsing the average Christmas gift shop, trying to find gifts for friends and family, if can often be difficult to get hold of something a little bit different from the run of the mill socks, slippers or perfume. Photo gifts are exactly this, and photo calendars, in particular, combine practical appeal with uniqueness.

Christmas shopping can be fun, or it can be incredibly stressful, and the difference between the two is often all to do with the availability of suitable gifts. Spending hours trailing from shop to shop without spotting anything which you feel matches the personality and taste of the person you’re shopping for can be deeply dispiriting and doesn’t really do much for your seasonal spirit. One answer to the problem lies in choosing from the fantastic range of photo gifts which are now available.

The rise of digital photography, and the flexibility of what can be done with and to digital images, has opened up a dazzling range of options when it comes to crafting Christmas photo gifts. From personalised Christmas cards to deluxe photo books, the range is superb, with something to match every person and all budgets. One of the most original things that you can do with your favourite images is to turn them into photo calendars. Almost every home in the UK has a calendar of this type on display somewhere and the reason is simple; it comes in incredibly handy. Writing down all of the important birthdays throughout the year is so simple that you’ll never forget one again, and keeping track of dates such as the kids’ school holidays and dentist appointments is as easy as just leafing through a few pages.

Though nearly everyone accepts the need for a calendar like this, very few people are actually happy with the images which tend to be used. If it’s going to hang on your wall, just like a work of art or family portrait, then why shouldn’t it look as good as either of these two items? Thanks to the ease with which you can make personalised calendars, you no longer have to make do with endless shots dull landscapes or ‘funny cats’, instead being able to make a calendar which is built around photographs from your own collection, chosen specifically with the person you’re giving it to in mind. Whereas, in the past, calendar printing was a specialised task requiring large scale printing equipment and access to materials not widely available, the digital photography revolution has brought it easily within the reach of everyone.

All that you have to do is choose the theme of the calendar, whether that’s photographs of your children, or funny snaps of someone’s pets, or a collection of shots showcasing places which are important to them. Once you’ve done this, the images can be uploaded to the website, and the software makes actually designing the calendar incredibly simple. No experience or training is required to select the shape, layout and format of the calendar - options such as the number of pictures on each page and the way they’re laid out are easily selected, to the point where it’s actually possible to design a calendar which doesn’t even have to start in January.

When you’re choosing photo gifts, and using your own images to make them, you’re going the extra mile to show the person concerned that you’ve put in a great deal of time, thought and effort. Photo calendars do all of this and, because they get used every single day, they’ll be a constant reminder of just how much you care.