Beat the Holiday Rush by Ordering these Creative Gifts Early

In the blink of an eye, the holidays will be upon us. It happens every year – you think you have lots of time, and then suddenly you’re scrambling to get everything ticked off your holiday shopping list. Why not make this year different? If you’re planning to send gifts or cards abroad, or want to be able to give out gifts to friends, co-workers and teachers before the holidays begin, then there’s even more reason to be proactive and start ticking off your holiday shopping list early.

Our London Drugs Photolab has all kinds of gift ideas, from greeting cards to tree ornaments that you can personalize with your own photos for some truly unique and thoughtful gifts. The best part? You can order them all without ever having to step foot in a mall. By ordering early, you can get your gifts delivered to your home well before the holidays – either by ordering online, or using our London Drugs Photolab App for iOS and Android.

Keep reading below for 6 creative gift ideas that will help you beat the holiday rush!

Personalized Greeting Cards

If there’s one thing that belongs at the very top of your to-do list, it’s your holiday greeting cards. Depending on how far around the world you’re planning to send your cards, you’ll want to give ample time for them to arrive (preferably at the start of the holidays). Before the holiday rush hits, take some time to design your cards, create your list of recipients, and get them ready to toss in the mail.

Holiday greeting cards are a tradition for many families, as they’re a chance to get your family and friends caught up on your year (and show off your beautiful family with a few photos too). To help you make your cards extra special, we offer personalization options that allow you to add photos and text directly to the cards – no more hand cramps writing them by hand! (Pro tip: order a stack of 25 cards to save!). Our Photolab also has a variety of themed card templates for Christmas, Hanukkah and general Winter themes, so no matter what your traditions, you can find a beautiful card to customize.

Not sure what photo to use on your card? Check out our blog here on tips for taking the perfect holiday card family portrait.

Christmas Tree Ornaments

Gifts like personalized Christmas tree ornaments are an excellent choice for co-workers, teachers, or anyone else you want to share a little something with to wish them a happy holiday season. If you’re looking to give out gifts to these people though, it’s best to order them before the holidays begin. That way, you can have them ready to go before the last day of school or work. You’ll also want to give out your ornament gifts a bit earlier than Christmas so they have time to hang them on the tree and fully appreciate them during the holiday season!

New this year, we have beautiful wood ornaments, in addition to ceramic, crystal, pewter, metal, and ball ornaments. Each one can be customized with a photo, as well as a personal message or a date if you like.

Heart Puzzles and Storage Tins

Holiday parties can often take place weeks before Christmas is here. If you know you’ll be heading to some parties this holiday season, it’s a good idea to have a few small gifts in your arsenal that you can give to the party hosts, or bring as part of a gift exchange. Our photo puzzles are a fun and unique gift if you’re doing a Secret Santa gift exchange, for example. Just pick an image of your choosing, and we’ll personalize the puzzle with that image! You can even order a puzzle that comes with a matching storage tin.

The Gift of Fine Art

Consider yourself an amateur or pro photographer? Why not turn your best photos of the year into prints to give to your friends and family! Or simply take your favourite shot from a photo session you’ve had, and order some prints to share. This is a great way to gift someone a special memory to treasure. Our If your not sure why print surface is best for your image, you can always visit our LDExperts in the Photolab. Our Photolab also has two brand new fine art papers that can elevate your images from ‘photos’ to ‘fine art’ in time for the holidays.

Baryta Fine Art Paper

Baryta is a bright white cotton paper ideally suited for photographic images. This smooth cotton paper was designed for long life – perfect for those memories you want to stand the test of time. Fine art photography, portrait photography, wedding photography are all ideal for this print surface. It’s also great for scrapbooking, if you’re planning to get very creative with your gift-giving.

Kauai Fine Art Paper

If you really want to step up your gifting game, you can go with some museum-quality prints. Kauai is a smooth hot press fine art paper that is best for print that require Museum Grade quality, especially when Image Permanence is a critical factor. This smooth cotton paper was designed for long life, and similar to our Baryta fine art paper, it’s ideal for fine art photography, portrait photography, wedding photography and scrapbooking.

Cozy Photo Blankets

What do you buy for the person who has everything? Rather than scrambling at the last minute for gifts for those tough-to-buy-for people on your holiday shopping list, here’s a gift idea you can order right now: a personalized fleece blanket. These cozy blankets can be customized with either one image, or a collage of images. They’re a great way to give the gift of coziness, plus the photo personalization adds some real uniqueness and thoughtfulness that they’ll appreciate.

Personalized Pet Tags

Know of someone whose pet is their best friend? Here’s a creative gift idea they’re sure to love: a personalized pet tag! You can order a pet tag with a snapshot of them with their beloved pet, and even add their pet’s name to it. We also have customizable pet bowls that you can add an adorable photo of their furry friend to. A perfect gift set for all the pet lovers on your holiday shopping list!

Morale Mail: Send a Care Package to Members Serving Oversees

Once again this holiday season, Canada Post is offering free shipping for family and friends of deployed men and women who wish to send their loved ones a special care package. This comes at a time of year when it can be difficult for those posted overseas who can’t return home for the holidays, and a gift from home can go a long way to making them feel cared for.

You can create your own Morale Mail care package, complete with everything from chocolates and personal notes, to personalized gifts. A photo book of them with their family and friends would be a thoughtful way to show them you care. Or a cozy blanket customized with a photo of their beloved pet on it, so they can feel a little more at home. Why not also include a personalized greeting card telling them you’re thinking of them?

Free shipping on parcels will be available from October 16, 2019 until January 10, 2020, and regular letter mail (up to 500 grams) will be free of charge until Deccember 31st 2019. You can find more information on Morale Mail here.

It can take up to 28 days for parcels to arrive, so the sooner you plan out your care package the better, to ensure it arrives in time for the holidays!

Holiday Gift Ideas for Neighbours, Teachers, Co-Workers & More

During the holidays, surprising your loved ones with the ‘big ticket’ items they’ve been dreaming about all year is easy – what’s hard is finding a way to really wow with the smaller gifts meant for neighbours, teachers, co-workers or anyone else on your holiday shopping list. This year, consider foregoing the usual box of chocolates in favour of something that will really make them feel special: something personalized.

Our LDExperts recommend personalizing a photo mug, water bottle or carafe with a photo (and even a personal message if you like) to create a truly unique gift for all of the special people in your life. It’s sure to not only spread some holiday cheer, but will show them you’re thinking of them.

To help get you started, here are some ideas for customizing your own photo gifts:

For Your Neighbours

Do you have a snapshot of your neighbour and their family from a block party this summer? Or do you have a photo of your kids and theirs playing together? Maybe you can easily snap a photo of their pride and joy sportscar in the driveway. Whatever it is, find an image that will showcase some of the favourite things or people in their life, and use it to customize a mug, water bottle or carafe for them. It’s a small way to thank them for being such a wonderful neighbour this past year!

For Your Teachers

If you’re looking for a thoughtful way to thank your child’s teachers for all their hard work, a personalized gift will go a long way. Teachers generally get a lot of mugs as gifts, so why not switch it up and personalize a water bottle for them instead? Employ your child to draw up some artwork – maybe a simple ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Thank you Ms. ______’ theme – and we can help you scan that artwork and put it on a water bottle! Or if you have a scanner at home, you can then simply upload that digitized artwork to our Photolab site to customize your bottle.

For Your Co-Workers

Co-workers aren’t always easy to get gifts for, especially when you’re trying to keep it to something small. Here’s a creative gift idea you’ll know they’ll appreciate: personalize a mug or carafe for them, so that no one in the office will ever accidentally use their mug again! Add some custom text to it like ‘This is Gary’s Mug’, or simply add a photo of their face to the mug, so there will be zero confusion who’s mug or carafe it is. Now they won’t have to fear leaving their mug in the office cupboard! That might just make you their new favourite co-worker.

For Your Friends

This is an easy one – just pick a favourite snapshot of you and your BFF. We’re sure you won’t have any difficulties finding lots to choose from. Or take a quick peek at their Instagram, for a particularly special moment from their year, and surprise them with that on a water bottle or mug.

 

Our LDExperts also suggest making your gifts even sweeter by including some treats inside! Add a packet of hot chocolate mix, a candy cane, and a small baggy of marshmallows – all wrapped up in some cellophane.

To get started on your own personalized gifts, just visit our London Drugs Photolab online, in-store or simply download our London Drugs Photolab App for iOS and Android.

And don’t worry – if someone surprises you with a gift you weren’t expecting…you can order our 11oz and 14oz mugs same-day!

How to Next Level Your Christmas Stockings

Are you stockings starting to look a little shabby? No, we’re not talking about the ones on your feet – we’re talking about your family’s Christmas stockings! For lots of families, hanging stockings over the fireplace is a long-standing holiday tradition. But sometimes those traditions need a little sprucing up. If your stockings are looking a little worse for wear after years of use, we can help you upgrade to some truly next level stockings…completely personalized for every member of your family!

Customized Stockings

Our Photolab offers customizable Christmas stockings in a variety of styles. If each member of your family gets a stocking, give them the opportunity to make it their own. Let them choose a photo for their stocking, and they can even add their name or nickname to it. Don’t leave out the family pet either – we can help you make one for them too! You also have the option to have the photo featured on just one side, or on both sides of the stocking. Of course, all of our stockings will come with a small loop so they’re ready to hang!

Customized Stocking Stuffers

While you’re at it, you can take your stocking stuffers to the next level too! It’s always great to have some stocking stuffer fillers in there like candy canes and chocolates, but stockings are also a great place to include some more thoughtful, small gifts as well. We have lots of items you can customize, that will fit perfectly into your family’s Christmas stockings.

Two of our LDExperts’ top picks for personalized stockings stuffers are photo keychains and ornaments. Both are small enough to fit perfectly in your stockings, and are a nice, thoughtful gift they can cherish beyond this holiday season.

Keychains can be customized with your choice of photo, and come in a variety of styles, from a metal heart to a metal square with leatherette backing. We can also include a name or personal message on the photo for added customization. The same can be done with our ornaments.

The ornaments are available in 20 different styles: on metal, pewter, crystal or ceramic. Our metal ornaments can be printed on the font and back, and all of our ornaments come with a pre-drilled hole so you can easily hang from your tree with a small ribbon. We think the personalized ornaments are a great gift to make a yearly tradition! Each Christmas, simply pick a photo that best represents that person’s year – and add the year in text to the ornament so they’ll always remember when that memory was from. It’s a sweet custom that will be so special to look back on, as you collect new ornaments over the years.

 

Ready to take your Christmas stockings to the next level? Visit our London Drugs Photolab online, in-store or simply download our London Drugs Photolab App for iOS and Android to get started!

Stocking Stuffer Gift Ideas from Blogger Melissa Cartier: Express Books & Book-It Mini Books

Hi everyone, Melissa from Melissa Cartier here again.

My husband and I have a little tradition where our only gifts for each other are meaningful, within a budget we set and must fit in our stockings. I love opening my stocking each year, and some of my favourite memories as a kid was Santa placing my stocking at the foot of my bed for me to find when I woke up. As for buying stocking sized gifts for my husband… it’s a challenge. He’s very practical and doesn’t really like chocolate (we are very different haha).

While looking at the different creative projects on the London Drugs Photolab App (iOS version only), I noticed the Book-It Mini Books. The price easily fit within our set budget and they are small enough to fit in a stocking. Kevin and I have created so many memories with our son this past year that it was so easy to put together a little book of some of our favourites. While I didn’t need the quick timeline, I was really impressed these Book-It Mini Books can be made in 24 hours!

The Book-It Mini Book I made is adorable. I chose the black hard cover, pearl finish paper and a single image on each page. I also chose the centered square image option which I love because it reminds me of a little book of Instagram photos.  It’s going to make a great stocking stuffer but if you’re looking for smaller gifts that are still meaningful the Express Books and Book-It Mini Books are a great option. They are quick, easy to make and budget friendly, so they are perfect for co-workers, your child’s teachers or anyone you’ve travelled with.

I love getting photos developed and putting them into photo albums (with each photo dated, of course) but I could see myself using the Book-It Mini Books as little keep sakes after notable events where we take quite a few photos. Family trips, birthdays or even holidays. I have so many photos from Thomas’ first Christmas that would be so sweet to compile in a Book-It. I know Kevin is going to love finding this little book of memories in his stocking this year!

Holiday Gift Ideas from Blogger Melissa Cartier: Coffeetable Books & Photographic Albums

Hi everyone, Melissa from Melissa Cartier here!

On my blog, I recently shared my process for developing all of my photos quickly and directly from my phone using the London Drugs Photolab App! After hearing how much I love their app, the lovely team from London Drugs asked if I’d like to talk about some of the creative products their Photolab has to offer. The first thought that popped into my mind was trying some of them out by tackling a few names on my Christmas list and I quickly agreed.

One person on my list that I have a really tough time buying for is my Dad. His Christmas list every year is black socks and golf balls. I wish I was kidding. While I don’t mind working from a Christmas list I can’t say I’m eager to buy him black socks every year. Besides, isn’t the best part of Christmas shopping finding thoughtful gifts that have meaning behind them? One of my favourite gifts to get for my dad is a framed photo. Two years ago it was a photo from my wedding and last Christmas it was a photo of him and my son.

After scrolling through all of the creative products I could make in the London Drugs Photolab App (how fun would it be to make a recipe book or a book of Instagram photos for a gift?), I settled on a Coffeetable Photo Book. I loved the traditional look of the Photographic Albums as well. It didn’t take me long to create a quality book full of our favourite memories from this past year all from photos on my phone. I really liked that I could choose a layout for each page and while I had the option of including text, for this book I wanted more of a picture book feel. I chose a 10×8 muslin cloth book with a window for this project, but on my next one I think I’ll get a custom photo cover because those look really impressive

If you have a photographer, or just someone in your life who is sentimental like I am, these photo books are both fantastic gift options.

My Coffeetable Photo Book was ready in 5 days and I’m so happy with how it turned out! The quality of the pages didn’t disappoint, and I know my Dad is going to love flipping through all of the memories our family has created this year.