The Reality That Is Taking Christmas Card Photos With Young Children

The stress! The agony! The worry!
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Everyone has high hopes for their Christmas card pictures. Moms everywhere spend hours preparing mentally and physically for the dreaded Christmas card photo shoot. They often turn to Pinterest for cute inspiration, and they spend way too long piecing together all of the color-coordinated outfits the night before (or the morning of, like me..... whatever.)

The stress! The agony! The worry!

And all for what? To show all of your friends (and people you don't talk to but feel the need to send a Christmas card every year to make up for lost conversation) a cute photo?

OF COURSE. Of course, that's why we do it!


We must look like the Target commercial families. We must look perfect. That is our Christmas card goal. Since we all love Christmas cards, we will still continue to send them, but why not do something different this year? Why not bring a little realness into this Christmas card equation?

This year, I've decided to stop stressing over obtaining the perfect family photo and will be trying some of these new Christmas card ideas:

1. The "keep your kids up at least two hours later than normal" Christmas card.

Because going to bed on time the night before the photo shoot would just be way too logical. *Let the record show that I did not let my toddler stay up two hours later, he chose that himself. Of all nights, he refused slumber on Christmas Card Photo Eve.

If there was ever a Christmas card to portray what an overtired, uncooperative toddler looks like in a Santa hat and Christmas onesie, this might be it.


"Merry Christmas! My toddler loves you, he just hates sleep."

2. The "reenacted milestones" Christmas cards.
So this year I decided to do a new tradition. I wanted to get a picture of each child reenacting two or three milestones or events that took place for them that year. I think that these pictures will be really fun to look back on!

We had some really great memories this past year, such as my daughter crawling for the first time...


And then we had some not-great moments, like that time my son attempted to eat a lightbulb off the Christmas tree.


It's funny and acceptable to joke about this incident now, but in the moment, it was one of those times when I felt like I was going to vomit, have diarrhea, cry, and lose consciousness all at the same time.

I mean, he tried to eat glass.

3. The "let's read books on the bed in onesies, like we always do" Christmas card.

If you really want to jazz up that staged Christmas card, I highly suggest turning on the television when snapping the picture. When the kids started acting like lunatics, my husband and I thought that turning on the TV would help them stay calm and focused for the photo.

They were calm and they were absolutely focused.


"The children are really loving all of the Christmas books that the family is sending them! Thanks so much, everyone!"

4. The classic, "I got this idea from Pinterest" Christmas card.

Pinterest is the go-to site for cool ideas. Uncreative people can now be creative due to Pinterest copying. It's becoming an art, really. If you can pull off a Pinterest idea, then you're a winner. The best part? No one even has to know that you're an idea thief! (Even though we all really know...)

In this Christmas card, we were going for a fun, natural, playful vibe, and all we got was a "two distracted children up in the air, unfocused with a pair of crazy dad eyes" vibe.



"Just carrying our kids on our shoulders like an adorable family would. Nothing to see here."

5. The "do whatever needs to be done to get this done" Christmas card.

I am absolutely not above bribery when it's needed. Cast your stones of judgment all you want, but if giving my kid some applesauce gets me five decent photos to remember the year 2015 by, then I'll give my kid some applesauce. At the end of the day, I win, with my five beautiful photos in my hand (more like on my Facebook page).

If calling your kids out for not behaving as well as you would have liked them to is your cup of tea, then this Christmas card will be right up your alley. Why not give your friends the behind-the-scenes version of this year's Christmas card photo shoot?

Let's be real, guys. This year my son not only got two applesauce pouches, but he also got to open an early Christmas gift, all for the sake of our one-hour photo shoot. That's a long time for a toddler, so we did what needed to be done.


Batman truly saved the day.

This is the reality of taking photos with young children. It's chaotic, uncomfortable and downright exhausting when all is said and done.

But then the photographer shows you those few amazing shots that were somehow captured in the madness. For a brief moment, your family could pass as that "Target commercial family." It's a Christmas miracle, and you melt into a puddle on the floor.

Then you know why it was all worth it.