I like to take a holiday picture of my beautiful children each year to give to family. It's just what our dear ones want for Christmas, I am sure of it. It isn't very hard to get kids to be cute and smile for the camera, so I want to encourage you to try it yourself. What do you have to lose? You sanity, that's what.
First, spend at least 1 hour cleaning up and moving furniture to find a Christmas backdrop with nice balance and color and lighting for your photo shoot. Don't worry, your children will help you with this project by playing nicely with their own toys in their room while you clean. Make sure to time the process so that your children are all alert and happy for pictures.
Next, dress the children in coordinating holiday wear. This frantic process will feel a lot like Sunday morning, only you won't have the church nursery and Sunday School class to look forward to.
Finally, pose your calm, happy subjects in front of the peaceful Christmassy scene and take some pictures. It shouldn't take you long to capture their perfect smiles.
I never put up with bad behavior during photo shoots. Smiles are required and expected. After all, this is a fun experience for everyone involved.
Just snap away, taking pictures of this rare and beautiful age. You will never be able to forget this. It will be etched in your memory forever.
Don't worry about some of the more awkward shots. Any picture is helped by proper cropping and a nice vignette. Yes, that is much better.
Remember what I said about bad behavior. It is never tolerated. Silliness is for play time not for photo shoots.
Remind them that this picture is for their grandparents and aunts and uncles, not for the So You Think You Can Dance tryouts.
Don't worry, you will get plenty of precious pictures. By sheer miracle you may even get one that is okay for a gift.