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I'm a total Apple addict, as you might tell.

Gotta Love Those iPhoto Print Services!

It’s that time of year again. Time to spin off a few iPhoto Christmas goodies for my peeps. They always love these. After all, if you give somebody the same thing two years in a row it automatically becomes a tradition. Who am I to challenge tradition?

I usually make my wife a large book of photo favorites of the kids. It makes the perfect Christmas gift. I started in 2007, so she has 4 books so far. The only problem is, I have to have the book finished up and delivered before Christmas. So the book never has any Christmas pictures of the kids in it. I decided this year that I’d hold off on the book until January so I can throw in some Christmas pictures. Our Anniversary is in January and after explaining the situation to my wife, she’s OK with waiting another few weeks.

Besides making a book of photo favorites from the year, I also make a calendar for her, her best friend, and my Mom.

I also decided to give that 3 pack of mini-books a try too just to see how they come out. They look like they’d make great stocking stuffers.

As usual, creating the book in iPhoto is a snap. It’s simply a matter of dragging, dropping, and resizing.

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Once you’re happy with everything, you simply press the “Buy Book” button on the bottom toolbar. When the order page pops up, you specify how many you want and press “Check Out”.

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After you’ve entered your credit card information, your creation is uploaded to Apple.

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When complete, you are given an order number that you can track on Apple’s website.

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I opted for the express shipping since I left things until the last minute. Both orders for the books and calendars were placed on Dec 18th. They shipped Dec 19th and arrived Dec 21st. Not bad at all.

The mini books were a lot smaller than I realized. I knew they were about wallet size, but I forgot how small 3 1/2 x 2 5/8 was until I opened the box. I was thinking of something more along the lines of a 4 x 6 photo book as a gift. I added extra pages for a total of 36 pages, so the price averaged out to $8.63 each.

The print quality is great, but at almost $9 each, they’re pretty pricey for such a small stocking-stuffer sized book. The default 20 page 3-pack sells for $11.97 ($3.99 each), but at 20 pages (10 sheets) it hardly seems worth it.
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The calendars are great and are just as easy to make as the books.

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Just like the books, there are multiple themes to choose from. You can even import all your calendar entries from iCal. I opt not to do that since the calendars are going to three different people. I don’t think my Mom cares when my car payment is due. Nor does my wife’s friend care when my brother’s birthday is. I only leave my kids’ birthdays on there since they are the star of the show.

Apple sends them in a nice Apple-branded sleeve.

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The price is comparable to that of your run-of-the mill kitty calendar you’d get at Hallmark. For $19.99, you get a personalized calendar that you can get a kick out of all year long without paying a premium. (That and serious Brownie points from Grandma!)

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