Family Christmas traditions are what make the holiday so special for me. I have vivid memories of hunting round and round my childhood home with my siblings in our quest to find the shiny pickle ornament that guaranteed the finder an extra gift. These days, I absolutely love baking Christmas cookies with my son, and seeing his joy as he uses cookie cutters to create Christmas tree and Santa-shaped cookies. Another favorite Christmas tradition is sending and receiving Christmas cards. I know that I can see family photos on social media any time, but there’s something extra special about a Christmas card that I can stick on my fridge.

Putting together that perfect family Christmas card can take a bit of effort. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out these 7 fun ideas for your family Christmas photos.

Matching Pajamas


My toddler doesn’t love getting dressed up in fancy outfits for our Christmas family photos . So, this year, I’m making things simpler. I’ve purchased sets of cozy, bright-red, monogrammed pajamas for my husband, son and me to wear as we pose in front of our tree. Afterwards, we plan to stay in our pajamas for the rest of the day and enjoy a marathon of Christmas movies. I can’t wait!

Spell it out

This family photo idea doubles as a family craft. After you decide what word you’re going to spell—such as J-O-Y or M-E-R-R-Y—gather your craft supplies and get creative. You can cut your letters out of cardboard and then help your kids decorate them with fabric, paper, or paint. After your letters are finished, find a cute outdoor backdrop and line up your family. Have each person hold their letter so that you’re spelling out the word all together!

Winter Wonderland


My son loves to play in the snow, so I’m thinking about making it a part of a few family photos this year. Snow is plentiful here in New York City, but you can still create this pose with fake snow if you’re in for a green Christmas. All you need is warm clothes and a handful of snow. Pick a photogenic spot outside, have your photographer count down, and blow your handful of snow outwards right before the camera clicks. Just don’t stay out in the cold for too long! Afterwards, warm up inside with a cup of hot chocolate.

Naughty or Nice?

Were your kids naughty or nice this year? A friend of mine purchased a small chalkboard for each member of her family, had them write either “naughty” or “nice” on it, and pose for Christmas family photos. It turned out absolutely adorable. For a twist, you could also turn this into another DIY opportunity, cutting out red and green arrows that say “naughty” and “nice” for each family member to point at each other.

Waiting for Santa

Waiting for Santa

I usually wait until Christmas Eve to bake cookies for Santa with my son, but I’m happy to bake an early batch to set the scene for these cute photos. Set out your cookies on a festive plate by the fireplace, and add a note that reads “For Santa.” Dress your kids in festive pajamas or Santa hats and photograph them as they gaze eagerly up into the chimney.

Festive Feet

I have several pairs of festive Christmas socks decorated with Santa, snowmen, and reindeer, and what’s better than curling up in front of the fire in some cozy socks? Last year, a friend sent me a Christmas card featuring the feet of each family member adorned in festive novelty socks in front of the fireplace. I thought their card really captured Christmas’s warmth.

Candy Cane Heart


Candy canes are a pretty integral part of Christmas for our family. When we lived abroad, we had a surprisingly difficult time finding candy canes in the grocery store. I had to make do for a couple of years without making my favorite peppermint bark. Since we now live in New York, finding candy canes isn’t an issue. I love the idea of incorporating them into our Christmas photos. If you’re a family of three like we are, the adults can each hold up a candy cane to make a heart while holding your child between you. If you’re a family of four or more, put either the kids or parents in the middle and have the others stand on either side, reaching around to join their candy canes in a heart.

I’m looking forward to creating a picture collage to showcase our family Christmas photos this year.

What are your favorite Christmas family photo ideas?