Stress-Free Gifting Starts Here

The 2021 Holiday Gifting Checklist

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Hands holding photo calendar that is about to be gift wrapped

In a season often filled with lists, commitments, and little time to spare… let joy be your guide. Choose to slow down — to enjoy the journey: the planning, creating, wrapping, remembering, and sharing.

We understand that good things take time, and in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, creating tears-of-joy gifts can feel like a big to-do. That’s why we’ve created this holiday gifting timeline and checklist to offer helpful tips throughout the season. Whether you’re bright and early or feeling a little late to the game, in our eyes you’re right on time to gift thoughtfully.

We’ll be updating this checklist as the season goes on, so jump in wherever you are, get organized with us, and find joy, in the making.

Note: Our friends in the shipping industry really feel the hustle and bustle this time of year, so here’s a little reminder that ordering your gifts early is always a good idea. We work closely with our shipping partners to provide a detailed shipping guide. Nevertheless, the best way to beat the rush and avoid snafus is to make your gifts early.


It’s never too early for a good thing — October is ideal for gifting preparation!

holiday gifting timeline

Make a List, Check It Twice

Who Are Your Recipients?

First things first. Start thinking through who you’d like to create a gift for this season. Make your list on paper or on your phone, and keep it as inclusive as possible to start. Begin by noting your family and close friends, and then think through other friend groups, coworkers, teachers, neighbors, etc. Who were the people who impacted your year?

Be sure to note who you want to spend a little more time on and gift something extra meaningful!

photo prints in different sizes scattered on table

Does a Photo Gift Make Sense?

Once you have an idea of who your recipients are, ask yourself a few helpful questions to decide if a photo gift makes sense.

Do you have photos together? (All it takes is one photo for a meaningful gift!)

Did you take a road trip together?

Did you mark some of your everyday moments together?

Was there a meaningful milestone? (e.g., Did a sibling get married or graduate?)

Can friends/family help you curate images to create a collaborative photo project?

Choosing the Right Photo Gift

We’ve found everyone loves photos — so trust us, they’ll appreciate your gift. With premium materials and elevated design, any of our photo books, frames, calendars, and prints leave a lasting impression. To make it easier to narrow down your options, take a look at these guides:

Which Photo Book is Right For You?

A Guide to Different Photo Frames

Our Photo Calendar Comparison Guide

Everything You Need to Know About Prints

Gathering Your Thoughts

There are a few ways that you can keep your list organized as you add recipients and ideas!

✓ Create a list on your phone to have at hand whenever inspiration strikes. (We keep our list running throughout the entire year!)

✓ Save a board on Pinterest. (Make it private, so no one can snoop!)

✓ Add gift ideas to a saved list on Instagram.

✓ Look through your projects in your account. Find any that are easily giftable to other recipients and hit duplicate. For example, if you created a baby photo album during the year, gift a copy to grandparents!

Different types of Artifact Uprising photo gifts next to one another

Good Things Take Time

It’s never too early to begin on those big-moment gifts. Here are a few ideas for what to make for your closest friends and family (and everything you need to know to make them!).

Family History Books

DIY Recipe Books

Travel Photo Albums

Hands flipping through family history book printed in Artifact Uprising Layflat Photo Album

Gifts to Fit Your Budget

Thoughtful doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Proactively plan for your gifting budget with these ideas:

Note: If you are creating a photo book, don’t forget to account for any additional pages you add! You can find details on additional pricing in the product details.

Begin With Your Photos

Getting ahead has never felt so good. It may seem early — and lucky for you, it is! Whether for under the tree or the first night of Hanukkah, the best time to start on these most meaningful gifts is now! So for those on your nice list, here’s how to begin.

Woman organizing photos on her computer

Organize Your Photos

Creating a photo gift is always easier after organizing your photos. By cleaning up your camera roll, creating folders with favorites, and transferring those to your account on our site — you’ll be through the thick of the preparation phase! Begin with the projects that you know are going to take a little extra time, like a family history book, and go from there.

And remember: You can always use the photos you love in multiple projects to make things easy.

Be Proactive

As you’re working on these close friends and family gifts, favorite the photos you find for other recipients. Make albums on your phone, and upload them into folders on your computer. Keep things easy by creating subfolders using a hierarchy system like “Holiday > Family > Mom.” Your future self will thank you.

Hands holding up photo calendar that's about to be gift wrapped

Edit As You Go

To give your photos a little extra love and achieve the look you want (and want to gift!), take a look at our guide to editing your photos. We recommend editing as you find any favorites, just in case they make their way into a photo gift.

Make Holiday Cheer Happen Early

Since you’re getting in the holiday spirit — create connection early on in the season with Holiday Cards! As you start to organize your folders for gifts, keep an eye out for photos that could spread a little cheer on the front of this year's card. After all, choosing a feature photo is the hardest part of creating a holiday card.

Pro tip: Holiday cards are a great way to spread cheer to people outside your gift list. Even if you aren’t able to send a gift, you can still show how much you care with a thoughtful greeting!

Hands holding Artifact Uprising Holiday Cards featuring baby photo

Looking Ahead

Stay tuned for next month’s timeline (coming soon). And while you wait, here are a few things to help you plan ahead!

Shipping Deadlines

We update our shipping guidelines for arrival by December 24th with key cut-off dates for Standard, Economy, Expedited, and Rush shipping. Just a reminder — as we mentioned above, shipping companies tend to experience quite the holiday rush, so avoid any surprises by ordering a few days (or weeks!) before these dates.

Psst… gifting for Hanukkah? Our shipping guide has dates for you too! For most products, you’ll want to order your gifts no later than November 22nd (with Rush) to have them arrive just in time for the first night of Hanukkah!

The More the Merrier!

As you begin on your most meaningful gifts, keep thinking ahead for who is next! When you check loved ones off your list, allow new ones to come into the fold. Whether a few stocking stuffers or gifts for neighbors and casual friends, it’s never too early to start jotting down your ideas for them.

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