by Pamela Roller

This year, instead of the Christmas newsletter my husband and I put off until the last anguishing minute, we're trying something simple yet classy--a visual and auditory statement of our year that's free and fast. Yes, fast--it can take less than thirty minutes to put together and send out.

If you dread writing the annual Christmas letter, or grit your teeth every time you open the mailbox because you know you'll have to sit and read someone else's, perhaps you'd like to make a photo story. Perhaps you'd like to recommend a photo story to your friends.

All you need are the digital photos you've taken throughout the year and an easy program, and your friends will take joy in watching your year in splendid visual imagery. Best of all, creating a photo story is absolutely free because you can send it as an attachment in an e-mail. Much, much better than e-cards (rather tacky) and snail mail (rather expensive), a photo story is a personal way to say, "I'm thinking of you."

Follow these easy steps to make your photo story:

Download Microsoft Photostory.

Follow the simple directions. Add your digital pictures, move them around, and add text and music.

Be sure to save, save, save the project. When finished, click to e-mail it to friends (in Microsoft Outlook), or set it as an attachment for other e-mail programs.

Happy holidays!

Pamela Roller is the author of On Silent Wings, a gothic historical romance set in Restoration England. Visit her website at
©Pamela Roller


  1. Beth Trissel // December 12, 2007 at 2:51 PM  

    This actually sounds like a swell solution to an age-old challenge.
    I even might give it a try. :)

  2. Mary Marvella // December 14, 2007 at 9:22 PM  

    Some people are so clever!