For Christmas this year, I wanted to make my daughter a little book of family Christmas photos, because she’s at college now but the family albums are still living at home.

But first, I had to find all the photos.

The earliest photos — years 1998-2001 — existed only as prints in a photo album, because back in those days we didn’t own a digital camera.

Years 2002-2009 were stored on the old desktop computer that we stopped using after everybody got laptops and smartphones.

Years 2010-2012 were stored on my laptop.

The next year, my daughter got a nice camera and became the official family photographer, so years 2013-2017 were stored on her old laptop.

Back when the kids were little, I took my job as family historian very seriously. I took lots of photos, ordered prints from Kodak, labeled and dated them on the back and put them in albums.

I was also very paranoid, so I also stored all of the photos on the Kodak website, and copied them onto CDs for good measure. Then the Kodak website went out of business. (See, there’s a good reason I’m paranoid.)

My photos were sold to a different photo website. Shutterfly? Shutterstock? Shutter Island? I don’t remember. I also don’t know where my photos are.

I spent a couple of eternities hunting down photos on three computers and five CDs, but finally I had them all in one place.

I have found that the quickest and easiest way to make photo books and calendars is by using Apple iPhotos on my computer. (Now it’s just called Photos. I want my cute little i back.)

I started a new photo book project in Apple no-i-Photos. I copied in all of the family Christmas photos, only to discover that it would be a 700-page book.

I spent another couple of eternities culling photos, arranging them on the page and trying to decide between background colors and special effects.

At 1 a.m., I hit the “Buy Book” button.

“ERROR MESSAGE: We cannot process your order at this time. Please try again later.”

One second later, I hit the “Buy Book” button again.

“ERROR MESSAGE: We cannot process your order at this time. Please try again later.”

I hit the button harder.

“ERROR MESSAGE: We cannot process your order at this time. Please try again later.”

I hit the button really hard, really fast, several times in a row.

Then I asked Google, “Why can’t I print my book from Apple Photos?”

Turns out, Apple deleted the print option from Photos — two months ago. Merry Christmas to me.

The good news is, I found an app that would print my book without me having to completely redesign it.

The bad news is, I can’t use the app until I upgrade my operating system. And I can’t upgrade my operating system until I backup all of the information on my computer. Because otherwise, you know, I might lose all my photos.

Lisa Davis is Features Editor of The Anniston Star. Contact her at 256-235-3555 or ldavis@annistonstar.com.

Features Editor Lisa Davis: 256-235-3555.

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