Santa Pictures are a family tradition since I can remember. I put this one up each year of 8 year old me, wearing ice skates and a red dress dress that my mother made me, complete with hand-placed rhinestones. I think we took this one at the May Company in North Hollywood and there was a dining room set up for brunch in the next room. So much has changed since those days. (Speaking of modern times.. That pic is up on my Instagram @KristinCruz.)
We're all so much busier, and the traffic seems heavier, and our free-time with family is filled with sports practice and obligation that all include more driving in all that traffic. But, I never want our fast-paced lifestyle to take the place of special Family Traditions. A great old fashioned Santa Picture with the kids will always be a Holiday must. If you'd like to carry on this tradition too, or you are making this a new one, then my tried 'n' true guide for the best stress-free Santa Pictures will help make it easy.
6 Steps to Stress-free Santa Pictures
- Pick Your Theme. Have you thought about how you want the pics to look? Do you know what design you'll chose for Holiday Cards? Are you taking these pictures with Grandma in mind and you know she likes things a certain way? Or maybe it's time for a silly picture where everyone is in Winter Pajamas with teddy bears. Once you've decided the "look" you want for your family pictures (and keep in mind what designs are offered through PearTree or TinyPrints- whomever you'll be ordering through), then we can move into my favorite step.
- Shop Your Look. Yes it's another excuse to shop but 'tis the season right? Here's where you go out and gather up your clothes, props, santa hats, fuzzy slippers, and what-have-yous. Doesn't have to be fancy. Maybe it's t-shirts from an Etsy store that say "Gangsta Wrappers"! Get it all together & put it in a bag so it's ready on the big day.
- Book An Appointment with The Big Man. No more long lines like in A Christmas Story. Your holiday story will be about a short sweet Santa session that went so well you could even Facebook Live the whole experience! My kids were entertained through the whole experience at Santa HQ by HGTV. I made the appointment online here and I knew it would be amazing. HGTV knows how to do the Holidays right (I love that Channel, don't you?)
- Clear Your Calendar. The only thing worse than rushing to a photo shoot, is rushing THROUGH a photo shoot. As an Entertainer I have had to do both, unfortunately. Showing up late for a shoot is so stressful. I also never like having to keep an eye on the clock while trying to pose for the camera. Trust me. Turn this Santa Pictures Day into a Family Event! Enjoy your time together. Do some Christmas shopping at the mall. Drop by the See's Candies store for a free sample. Buy your Hickory Farms sausages and cheese balls. Soak up the Season! (These activities are also used as bribes to get my kids to smile during the picture-taking. Works like a charm.)
- Pack It Up! Maybe it's a #MomThing? But anytime I drive anywhere with my kids, I pack my car like I'm going on a road trip. I have a cooler in my trunk (no joke). My two little cherubs love to ask me to stop the car every 5 minutes for a drink or a snack or a bathroom break (where they will also ask for a snack). I use clear freezer bags with a Holiday theme, like the Snowflake Ziploc ones. Juice box, Raisins, Goldfish, and Cheese Sticks are my favorites. I purposefully don't pack chocolate (a mess), candy (sugar rush), or dark red drinks (obvious). We want everyone to show up without strawberry stains or chocolate mustaches etc.
- Treat Yo' Self! Gift yourself the ease of ordering the picture package you really really want. Go ahead and opt for the digital picture also so you can throw a filter on it! No one is judging. We all use the filters. You deserve to make your pics look exactly how YOU want. Upload them into the card design you chose and send those babies out to all your friends, family and anyone you want to impress with your awesome family! Merry Christmas cards to ALL! And to all a Good Night.
Time for wine! ;)
Share your tips and tricks below. I'd love to hear how your Christmas is going too. For the funniest Santa Pics check out my Instagram where I've posted up my Pinterest folder of hilarious photo fails.
[I received compensation and/or free products for my honest review.]