Two more ideas for handmade books:
A daytimer-type book, with the family birthdays and special days already filled in, maybe with room for journal entries, and the extended family addresses, phone numbers, e-mails, and websites bound into its own section;
A desk planner calendar, with special family photos decorating the pages, scrapbook-style. The family birthdays and special days can already be filled in for this option too.
If the recipients garden, it would be nice to include seed starting and planting times for their region of the country, or other almanac information. Can you tell I have been filling out our family calendar for 2006, LOL?