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Six Family Christmas Card Ideas

Don't you just love getting Christmas and holiday cards in the mail? It's one of the best parts of the season IMO. Every single card just hugs my heart. We hang them all in the windows in our dining room so they become part of our Christmas decor. I can't think of anything more heart-warming to look at than the faces of our friends and family we love so much, knowing they thought of us.

I LOVE coming up with new ideas for our Christmas cards each year. Some years picking a photo or two for your card is super easy, like a wedding photo, a picture of your newborn baby, or a snap from your travels. A great photo or two from a recent family photography session is always a home run. But, sometimes you gotta wing it and come up with something on the fly.

Below you'll find six Christmas card ideas you can recreate either with a professional photographer or at home on your own!



Dressy family Christmas card idea with reindeer antlers, santa hat, and garland.

Dressy family Christmas card idea with reindeer antlers and santa hat.

An easy way to guarantee a great Christmas card pic is to bring some holiday props to your fall family photo shoot. Big pieces like a Christmas wreath or garland pop in photos and make the food decidedly festive. You can also raid the Target budget bins for fun props like a Santa hat, reindeer antlers, or this tiny framed sign I got for just $5. London Adelaide Photography took these photos and we're crazy in love!



merry christmas letter grid diy family christmas card idea

A Merry Christmas photo grid is an easy DIY Christmas Card idea for a family in a pinch! We knocked this out one evening at home start-to-finish in a couple hours!

What you'll need:

  • A camera or camera phone on a tripod.

  • Holiday background, like a decorated Christmas tree.

  • Printed letters and numbers to spell out your holiday message.

  • Christmas-themed photo booth props and other holiday items like a colorful wreath, tinsel, and ornaments.

How to do it:

Write out the message you want to convey in your grid. In Word or Power Point, type large font letters and numbers and print on standard 8"x11" paper (you only need one copy per letter even if the same letter appears in the word multiple times).

On a separate piece of paper, write down your message so you can track which member of your family is holding up each particular letter. This makes it easier to alternate who appears in each square. Be sure to include a place holder photo for the spaces between the words -- they'll need a spot in the grid, too.

Set up your camera and tripod in a stationary place so the background and perspective of each photo is the same. Then hand out the props and let your inner elf loose! Kids will definitely embrace the chance to be silly in front of the camera.

Use Power Point to make all your photos the same size and grid settings to snap all the photos into equally spaced rows and columns. Save as a photo and voila!



Matching family pajamas christmas card idea

Who doesn't love the tradition of snuggling up in your matching holiday pjs and reading Christmas stories together as a family? Invite your iPhone and a tripod to the party and voila! Cozy Christmas card pic!

Remember: photos love texture, and Christmas photos love seasonal accents. Add dimension and color with your children's Christmas books spread out on the bed. Temporarily hang garland and/or LED string lights along your headboard, or hang a wreath over the bed. (Or maybe even mistletoe if you want to get cheeky!) I love Old Navy's family matching pajamas you can get on sale and on a budget.



snow day family christmas card idea

Work that winter snow storm to your advantage by snapping a family photo in your real-life winter wonderland! Have a neighbor or friend take your picture, or simply set up a tripod and use your camera's timer. That's what we did when we took this photo during winter storm Diego last year. This wound up being the photo we used on the front of our 2018 Christmas card!

Coordinating outfits always make a group photo stand out. Try to include a pop of red or green to make it more festive. Use holiday decor props like a Christmas wreath, garland, or artificial tree to put a firm festive stamp on your picture.



Family poses for their Christmas Card photo in a studio with fake snow falling around them.
Family poses for their Christmas Card photo as the parents hold their daughter's hand in the fake snow.
Little girl in a red bow hair band sits on a unicorn rug as she plays in the fake snow for her family Christmas card photo.
Brooke Williams, wearing a faux fur hat, blows snow toward the camera.
Family poses for their Christmas Card photo in a studio with fake snow falling around them.
Family poses for their Christmas Card photo in a studio with fake snow falling around them.
Family poses for their Christmas Card photo in a studio with fake snow falling around them.

Staging your own snow globe inside the warm confines of a studio makes for fabulous photos and some pretty amazing memories! We worked with Anastasiia Photography at Engaged Wedding Studio on this shoot and these are still some of my favorite family photos we've ever taken. We wore two different outfits for the shoot: one formal and dressy; the other casual and cozy.

For a dressy look, use luxe seasonal details to add glamour like metallic shoes and jewelry, pops of red, and furry texture. (I made my fur hat out of a faux fur collar I had on one of my capes!) We brought Harlow's unicorn rug for a snowy white prop to get solo photos of her in the snow.

For our casual look, we chose a non-traditional holiday color palette of pink, burgundy, gray, and cream to inspire our family outfits. Wintertime and cozy layers of clothing make for great photos since you can wear several colors and textures at once.



Wearing a silver sequin dress, a woman holds a crystal mistletoe ornament above her and her husband.
Brooke Williams smiles through the center of a glittery pine cone wreath.
A woman wearing a silver sequin dress and crystal bracelet holds a glittery pine cone wreath in the crook of her arm.
Brooke Williams, wearing a rose gold sequin skirt and fur-collared sweater, decorates a metallic tree in the snow.
Brooke Williams, wearing a rose gold sequin skirt and fur-collared sweater, decorates a metallic tree in the snow.
Husband takes photo of him and his wife in the reflection of a silver Christmas ornament.

For a romantic photo, dress up in your fanciest, sparkliest holiday attire and head out into the elements (if possible). Stage a Christmas scene in the snow by decorating a tree outdoors or carrying around your Christmas wreath. Snap a photo of the two of you reflected in a Christmas ornament!

If no snow is in your forecast, bust out the ol' mistletoe and share a kiss with your sweetheart. A sequin dress or winter sweater with a pretty open back will make the photo that much more dramatic.


Are you sending out Christmas cards this year? Do you get them out at the beginning of the season or are you lucky if they arrive before Christmas day? Coming up with Christmas card photo ideas is something I look forward to every year -- is it fun for you, too? Let me know your thoughts!

Thanks for stopping by the The Tony Townie today and for sharing the love on social with friends and family!


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