Without a doubt, the most successful gift I got for my children's granny this year was a cup. But not any ordinary cup, no sirree. First of all, we got the offspring to draw a colourful sign that said 'Happy Birthday Granny'. Then we took a picture of the children holding the sign, and by the magic of electrickery, got the resulting picture printed on the side of a mug.
We used MyPix but there are many other services like this available. And since her grandchildren are the only thing Granny likes more than her daily dozen cups of tea, bringing the two together gave her joy higher than John and Edward's hair.
With Christmas coming up, I've been looking for more ways to create personalised and unique gifts like this for the grandparents. So when Jessops invited me to try out their CEWE Photobook system, I was game for a go.
Only one problem - I am technodunce personified. Seriously - I have to brace myself for days to send a text message. But having recently heard actress Meera Syal warning that we mums have no choice but to get tech savvy, I am aiming to embrace my inner dork and stop relying on my children to explain computers to me.
But I reckoned that this made me a good person to try out the photobook service. Like childbirth, if any old idiot can do it, so can you.
So how did I get on?
The CEWE Photobook system gives you the opportunity to organise all those photos that have been cluttering up your camera into one neat album. You can cutomise the layout and add text at will. The idea is that people will do this as a sort of scrapbooking project, but I reckon this'll be most popular as a gift for grandparents, particularly those who don't see their grandchildren very often and might miss out on some of their special moments.
And yes, it was very easy to do. I managed the whole process with minimal whimpering. You have to download the photobook software, but from there it was just a process of click 'n drag. Heck, even I can manage that one.
The software irons out any red eye in your shots, so you come out of it looking like a better photographer than you really are. I created my photobook on a Sunday night in no more than 20 minutes.
And even though there was a postal strike, the finished article arrived by Wednesday lunchtime, so this would be good if you need a last minute pressie. I ordered the smallest photobook, which is a 26 page soft cover booklet around the size of a CD case - thought it would make a good pressie for a family member who likes to travel a lot. The only trouble is, my partner likes it so much that we are keeping it and will have to do another for all our assorted grandparents.
CEWE Photobooks are available here from Jessops. Prices range from six pounds for a booklet to £35 for a large hard cover book, though if you register on the site you'll get £5 off your first one. And if you're very quick, there's a two for the price of one offer running on photobooks until the 5th of November.