Getting that perfect family Christmas photo is essential to making the best cards and commemorating the season. However, it can be difficult to get everyone in the family to look their best. Try taking the picture early in the day, when people aren't too tired and are looking their freshest.
In Front of the Tree
The Christmas picture in front of the tree is classic. Once the tree is decorated, have the whole family--or just the children--stand in front of the tree and pose for a photo. You could also take a more creative approach, by taking pictures of the tree trimming or by taking a close-up picture of an ornament with your child reflected in it.
If your family is going on vacation to an exotic locale that isn't very "Christmasy," or if you already live there, it can be fun to don Santa hats and take your picture. For example, you could take a picture of the family standing on a surf board in Hawaii or in front of a large cactus decorated like a Christmas tree.
Capture the magic of the winter season by taking the family Christmas photo outside in the snow. You could make snow angels or a snowman and pose nearby--make dad's head the snowman's head for a funny picture. One of the disadvantages of an outdoor photo is that it's likely to be cold and you may feel like you need to bundle up. Instead, plan to only be out for a couple of minutes and wear just sweaters, scarves and hats--not the bulky jackets. You may be cold for the time you're outside, but the picture will look nicer.
Most children get their picture taken with Santa every year, but you can also get a picture with the whole family. Alternatively, dress your pet up as Santa and have the family pose with him.
Many people like to dress in similar clothes to create a uniform look for the Christmas photo. This could include everyone wearing the exact same sweater or just the same color. If you want a funny variation on this theme, put everyone in a similar outfit, but let one person stand out by wearing something completely different.
Time Lapse Photos
If you want something different from the traditional posed Christmas photo, try setting up a camera in the room where the family is most likely to gather. Set the timer on your camera to take a picture every five minutes. This allows you to get natural, non-posed shots.