I used to scrapbook. I was a minimalist scrapbooker. Get it matted, journal and done. No cutesy scrapbook pages for me...I didn't have time. Now I really don't have time to scrapbook at all. My sis-in-love tuned me into photo books. She originally did one of her blog for the year. Then she made the most darling one of her 9 year old son pulling funny faces. Each page was a different face with accompanying "happy face", "surprised face", "smell-something-bad face", etc. It was a gift for his little sister who was at the perfect age to love picture books.
I recently completed a "year in review" for my grandmother. She lives clear across the country. She doesn't need another sweater or trinket. Her favorite things are pictures. Well, she will receive 30 pages worth! Each page was journaled with where/who/what/why. Some were running shots of face expressions that were priceless. From start to finish it took me less than two hours to put together. It turned out so well that we ordered more for my husband's parents and mine as Christmas gifts.
Blurb is my choice, although other places like Snapfish, Wallgreens, Costco Photo, and Flickr also have their own. Prices for Blurb start at $12.95 for a small square book. I like to use the standard landscape books starting at $19.95. It's incredibly easy to use: you download their free software, plug in your photos, and send it off for printing. There are tutorials so you will have all the knowledge you need to create a fabulous book. If you want to ship it by ground, you need to order by December 12th. If you procrastinate, you still can ship it next day air as long as you order by December 19th. FYI: order before December 10th and GET FREE FLAT RATE SHIPPING! Woot-woot! Use code FESTIVE when you order in the USA. I would like to say I arranged that fab deal for you, but actually it came in my email three days after I ordered mine. Sad for me, great for you.
Photo journals, family cookbooks, storybooks with your kids dressed up as the characters, even your own family version of "The Night Before Christmas"....seriously, whatever theme you invent will be wonderful.