Stress-Free Gifting Starts Here

The 2020 Holiday Gifting Checklist

Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest Share on Facebook Share via email
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 the joy of creating connection with the ones you love be your guide. We believe there’s an unmatched feeling of gifting photos, celebrating the people in our lives and the time we spend with them. We discover what really matters, saying thank you with each page turned and memory exchanged.

But we understand — good things take time, and in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, creating tears-of-joy kind of 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 and get organized with us.

Jump to October
Jump to November
Jump to December

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, come snowstorm, human error, or pandemic, the best way to beat the rush and avoid snafus is making your gifts early.


The time is almost here. Whether connecting with loved ones from afar or enjoying a small gathering together, there’s nothing like that indescribable moment that happens seconds after opening a gift (even if it’s over FaceTime). As you create, wrap, and wait — picture that moment and look forward to the joy that lies ahead.

Last month, we went over project prep work, starting your project, and the beauty of duplicate. If you’re just joining us, press pause on panic mode! You’re right on time to gift thoughtfully. In this section, we’ll go over shipping guidelines, stocking stuffers, last-minute gifts, and taking time for yourself.

December holiday gifting timeline

Get Your Gifts on Time

Artifact Uprising delivery boxes stacked in front of front door

The best gifts arrive on time, and in a holiday season unlike any other before — we have a few tips to set yourself up for smooth shipping.

Shipping Guidelines

We’ve updated our shipping guidelines for the holiday season with key cut-off dates for Standard, International, Economy, Rush, and Expedited shipping to arrive by December 24th. Just a reminder — these shipping companies tend to experience quite the holiday rush and are anticipating extremely high volumes this year, so avoid any surprises by ordering a few days (or weeks!) before these dates.

Psst… gifting for Hanukkah? For most products, you’ll want to order your gifts no later than December 6th (with Rush shipping) to have them arrive just in time for the first night of Hanukkah!

Double-Check Your List

If you still have a few loved ones left on your list (or end up adding more recipients as you go), you’re not alone. Whether you need some stocking fillers or a few last-minute gifts, we’ve got you covered.

Stocking Stuffers

Artifact Uprising Color Series Photo Book, Walnut Desktop Calendar, & Design Your Own Flat Card

When it comes to stockings, we say skip the knickknacks, and rather gift something thoughtful with your photos. Here are our favorite stocking stuffer ideas that put joy in the palm of their hands.

✓ Relive your travels together in a Color Series Photo Book.

✓ Feature their furry friend in a Desktop Photo Calendar.

✓ Offer words of encouragement with our Design Your Own Flat Cards.

Forgetting Someone?

Hands exchanging photo album with duplicate photo album on table below

We’ve all been there. No matter how organized we enter the holiday season, there seems to always be someone we nearly (just nearly) forget. However, just because you’re short on time, doesn’t mean your gifts won’t be thoughtful. With the help of your camera roll, you can make any of these easy last-minute gifts to show how much you care.

✓ Gift a Metal Tabletop Frame with their favorite quote.

✓ Duplicate one of your own photo projects you know they’ll love too.

✓ Send a Baby Book to a new parent on your list.

✓ Gather little sentimentals to place in a Wooden Quote Box.

✓ Let them do the fun part with a gift card (because sometimes you’re just strapped for time!).

Easy Meets Thoughtful

Everyday Photo Book in hands opened to selfie of couple

While it’s true that some photo projects take a little extra time, we keep on hand a few ideas for easy photo books that can be made in about an hour.

✓ Document a weekend adventure with friends in an Everyday Photo Book.

✓ Make a “Names & Faces” Board Book for your little.

✓ Celebrate a window of time with family in a Color Series Photo Book.

Tips & Tricks for Your Book

✓ Use technology to your advantage (like facial recognition and auto-created albums on your photo storage provider).

✓ Upload photos to galleries all at once, so they’re ready to go in your account.

✓ Take a little help from our auto-fill feature to fill out your book fast.

Picture the Moment

Over the years, you (our community) remind us time and again that gifts can mean something more. After giving a photo gift, you fill our inboxes and DMs with evidence of happy tears, belly laughs, and surprised looks. Seeing these moments that you create is why we do what we do.

So if you’re gifting with us this holiday, we'd love for you to capture the recipient's reaction! Maybe it's in person, maybe it's over a video call... no matter how your gifting story takes place, hearing about it would truly make our season.

Share your story: here.

And in the meantime, we have a few suggestions to finish this season strong…

Wrap It Up

hands slipping photo print under ribbon of wrapped gift

Once you have your meaningful gifts in hand, there’s one last thing to do to really show how much you care — gift wrapping! From personalizing with prints to adding simple embellishments, these creative wrapping ideas will make your gift stand out.

✓ Pair it with an Everyday Print featuring your favorite photo together.

✓ Keep it natural with kraft paper and greenery.

✓ Leave a thoughtful note using a Photo Card or Everyday Print.

✓ Tuck your gifts in the tree or hang your wrapped frames on the wall.

✓ Recycle household materials and wrap with kitchen towels, throws, or scarves.

To: You, Love: You

Artifact Uprising Brass & Wood Display Box next to coffee cup and vase on counter

You hosted, you gifted, you fed... here’s a reminder to now take a little time for yourself. If you love a photo gift you made for someone, duplicate and print a copy just for you! Or if you’ve been eyeing a little something for a while, go ahead and add it to cart. You’ve 100% earned it.

Ring in 2021

Artifact Uprising foil-stamped new year card next to pen and stamps

It's not too late to reflect on your year well lived and celebrate the new one with New Year Cards. With new designs, greetings, and colors — these cards will bring your best into 2021. Plus, they'll buy you some extra time if you're late on your holiday cards!

Here are our best tips for stand-out snail mail:

✓ Bring the bright with foil stamping.

✓ Recap your year with words and photos.

✓ Honor your family traditions with inclusive greetings.

✓ Make it pop with custom colors.

Kick Back and Raise a Glass

two cups of eggnog on serving tray next to sprig of pine and bowl of chestnuts

Whether enjoying a hard-earned nap or planning a staycation, it’s definitely time to take a moment to relax. So raise a glass with us and enjoy this dairy-free eggnog recipe from the kitchen of our friend, @jessiemaysnyder.


2 cups plain almond milk

2 cups canned light coconut milk

3 tablespoons maple syrup

4 teaspoons vanilla

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Pinch of salt

Combine the ingredients in a medium sauce pan and place on the stove. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer while whisking continuously. Continue whisking while the liquid simmers for four minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and pour, carefully, into a glass bowl or jar on the counter to cool, uncovered. Once cooled, place in an airtight jar in the refrigerator to chill and set for at least four hours before serving. Makes 4 cups.

Just add spirits (optional): 3 oz of bourbon per glass



Holiday music is playing, festive lights are up… we’re in the swing of the season — and it’s time to start on those extra meaningful gifts. Give the gift of your photos to connect with loved ones near and far, from your parents to your close friends, knowing these personal gifts carry meaning now more than ever. In this section, we’ll go over creating those big moment (and win-the-holidays) kind of gifts. Here's how...

November holiday gifting timeline

A Little Prep Work

What to Gift Whom

hands wrapping wooden tabletop photo frame in gold wrapping paper

With your gift list in hand, consider who you’d like to spend a little extra time on. Think through meaningful milestones, photos from the last few years, and whose presence helped you through this year.

Proactive planners, you’ve likely figured out what you’d like to gift to whom. But if you’re still trying to nail down the perfect gift, you can skip the guessing game with our gift guides. And to narrow down your photo gift options, take a look at the at-a-glance comparison guides we listed in last month's checklist!

For Your Parents

Tell the story of your family and repurpose old photos with a Layflat Photo Album.

For Your Closest Friends

Look back on good times shared in a Hardcover Photo Book.

For a New Parent

Make it a little easier to preserve moments from that first, most meaningful year with the interactive Story of You Baby Book.

For Little Nieces and Nephews

Make them the star of storytime with custom Baby Board Books.

For Your Grandparents

Feature photos of their grandchildren that they’ll admire year-round with the perfect photo calendar.

Get Creative

Custom Baby Board Books by @thehayleerae
Photo by @thehayleerae

By featuring moments unique to you and your recipients' story, your photo gifts are naturally creative. However, if you are looking for gift ideas that are truly one-of-a-kind, take a page from other thoughtful gifters by checking out our roundup of unique gifts made by our community — from homemade cookbooks, to personalized storytime books, and more.

Project Tips and Tricks

how to use Autofill in the Artifact Uprising photo book editor

Need a helping hand to create your gift? Our customer experience team is always here (and happy) to answer your questions. And we’ve put together a few guides to get those wheels turning, break down the process, and make it easier than ever.

Start Creating

There’s no time like the present to jump in and get gifting.

Uploading Your Photos

how to upload photos in the Artifact Uprising photo book editor

Forever in favor of organizing photos, we recommend taking a look at our tips from last month to clean up your camera roll, move photos to your desktop, and create folders. Once your photos are in an easy-to-access location, you are ready to upload them to a gallery in your account.

Pro tip: Name your galleries with the occasion and recipient's name, like “For Mom, Hanukkah.” This practice will help you stay organized as you make projects for various loved ones.

Let's Begin

Once your photos are uploaded, go ahead and begin your gifts. You’ve heard us say it once (or twice…) — due to the extremely custom nature of these personalized gifts and any shipping industry delays, it’s always a good idea to order your gifts early.

Keep on Gifting

Wrapped gift with photo print on the front

There’s no better feeling than celebrating your connections with the gift of photos. As you create your projects, let your thoughtfulness run wild and your gift list grow.

Note: It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by how many people you think you need to gift. Just remember, obligation is not your reason to gift; gratitude is. Let’s make gifting joyful again, and let’s make it easy…

Note: It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by how many people you think you need to gift. Just remember, obligation is not your reason to gift; gratitude is. Let’s make gifting joyful again, and simple too.

The Beauty of Duplicate

How to duplicate a project in your Artifact Uprising account

One photo gift can go a long way. Rather than creating a whole new project, you can make a few small tweaks to projects you've already created and share them with others on your list. Here are just a few of our favorite ideas for duplicating:

✓ Take a photo book featuring your little one, add in a few photos of Grandma and Grandpa, and gift!

✓ Take your wedding album, add additional family photos, and gift it to your parents!

✓ Take a weekend road trip book, make sure everyone is featured, and gift to your travel companions!

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!

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.

Holiday Cards in the Mail Yet?

Artifact Uprising Multi-Image Vertical Holiday Card
Multi-Image Vertical Holiday Card

We could all use some holiday cheer this year. Now’s the time to close the distance with loved ones by sending a personalized holiday card they'll hold onto throughout the season.

Need a little inspiration? Check out these 32 fridge-worthy holiday card ideas. And make sure to take advantage of all the new bells and whistles in this year’s collection with our Holiday Card Guide.


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? Who were a part of your stories, Zoom calls, and adventures near and far? Make sure to note who on your list you want to give something extra meaningful. This isn’t the same for everyone! So think thoughtfully about who you want to spend a little more time on.

photo prints in different sizes scattered on table

What Are You Gifting?

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 lots of photos together?

Do you have just a few standouts? (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?

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!)

✓ 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

Narrow Down Photo Gift Options

With premium materials and elevated design, any of our photo books, frames, calendars, and prints will make 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

Good Things Take Time

From your recipient brainstorming, 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 (so-to-speak), 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. Your future self will thank you. Pro-tip: name these albums and folders with a hierarchy system like “Holiday 2020 > Family > Mom.”

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 work through creating your gift list and start on those photo projects, make their mailbox merry in the meantime with a personalized 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 your care with a thoughtful greeting!

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 your care with a thoughtful greeting!

Hands holding Artifact Uprising Holiday Cards featuring baby photo

Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest Share on Facebook Share via email