Every year I dream of the perfect photo for my Christmas cards.  And I plan and I plan! And then I run around at the last minute dressing the girls- who would rather be doing something else – and wishing I had planned this all out better!  And when I do get them to sit, I can’t seem to find a place to take the photo!

Because there are toys on the floor and marks on the walls and I’d have to move the laundry basket if I want them on the couch.

I used to wait until our tree was up.  That way, at least, I could have the twinkling light highlighting their angel smiles.  But the older they get and the busier I get, the more I want their cards done before our tree goes up December 1st.

So, after years – and by years I mean 5 – of taking children’s Christmas photos, I have come up with a few things to make the the process a little easier – at least for me!

Keep it simple!  Last year I had dresses, shoes, and bows all lined up and ready for photos.  Katie wanted to color, Sarah wanted to play Dora and Megan wanted to throw her dress on the ground and jump on it.  It was a proud moment all around.  So, one day, when they were all in their pajamas, hair a mess, giggly and goofy, I plopped them down on the couch, threw a red blanket over them and got the best Christmas Photo!

The picture hangs in our house year round now!

Make it FUN! The first few years, when they were babies, I’d get them all dressed, sit them in front of the tree and say “Smile”.  You can imagine how successful that was!  A few years of screaming and wiggling and terrible photos later, I decided that I needed to come up with a game.  So, now it is, “Who can get on the couch the fastest?”,  “Who can smile the prettiest?”, and  “Who can get Mommy the Tylenol bottle the fastest?”

OK, not the last one, but still!  And what I have realized is that they really will try to “win” and it makes for a fun experience instead of a crazy one!

Let Go Of Perfection!  I have decided that perfection is for those who don’t have anything else to do.  I used to be one of those people and it was great.  But now I live with four other people who have not grasped that concept so I have let it go – for now – as well!  So what if their hair is not combed just right?  Or if their outfit is not the one I bought?  Or if they are not positioned just so?  All that matters is that they are on the card and smiling – hopefully – and that whomever gets it will love it!

These are just some of my silly tips!

But if you need more professional help crafting the perfect family holiday card, be sure to check out Shutterfly’s Family Photo Day Initiative!  Watch this video to see what these fantastic events are all about!  Be sure to take advantage of their Digital Toolkit, learn about House Parties, join Meetup.com to have join others in creating that perfect picture and more!  AND there is even a photo contest with 5 winners!  This is a GREAT chance to get some fantastic information to help you create memories that you’ll love forever!

There are so many more things you can do to make your Photo Gifts  come out sort of, almost exactly like you want them to!  The important thing is to get a shot – right or not – that you family and friends will love!  And to make sure you pick a quality printing company, like Shutterfly.com, to make that really great picture pop!

**This is a sponsored post which I will receive product in exchange for.  All opinions and writings are mine.  Please see my Disclaimers Page for more information.**