10 Holiday and Christmas Family Photo Ideas

The air always feels a little more magical around the holidays. From the thrill of the first snow to the smell of homemade cookies, little joys seem to pop up everywhere. And you may feel inspired to gift your friends and family with some seasonal joy of your own.


Beautiful holiday cards can deliver a helping of warmth, from the moment your card arrives in the mailbox to the moment it’s stuck on the fridge with a magnet.


Wondering what to wear for family Christmas photos? Not to worry. We’ve gathered a list of our favorite Christmas family photo outfits to make the new year bright. So grab your family and pull them close because picture day has arrived. Say cheese!


#1 Throw a Pajama Party

There’s nothing like Christmas morning. Children scurry out of their beds to an unforgettable experience of love, family, and Santa-sanctioned fun (provided they were good this year). Share the love of Christmas morning by taking pictures in Christmas-inspired PJs. 


Show off your family’s PJ party by posing while:


  • Reading a Christmas story
  • Cozying up on the couch
  • Opening presents


Fashion Snapshot: In addition to being insanely comfortable, PJs are an excellent choice for coordination. Choose a holiday-inspired color scheme from our holiday shop, wear matching pajama pants, or go all-out and snag matching onesies for the whole family. Hey, don’t knock it till you try it. They’re super comfy. 


#2 Feel Festive in Flannel 

As the weather gets colder, flannel remains a fan-favorite for families everywhere. They offer casual comfort and a rustic feel that pairs well with a warm mug of apple cider. 


Fashion Snapshot: Wear lightweight flannels inside for a cozy peek at your Thanksgiving table or pop outside for some fresh air. A walk in the woods or by a nearby cabin could provide a lovely scenic backdrop. 


#3 Walk Through A Winter Wonderland

Celebrate the most wonderful time of year by showing off the best parts of winter—dazzling, glistening snow and the luminous holiday lights. Grab your mittens, tie your scarves, and gather your family around gorgeous locations that celebrate the colder season, including:


  • In a Christmas tree farm – A farm covered in pine trees guarantees classic, nostalgic charm. And after the photoshoot is all done, why not take a Christmas tree home with you? You can check two things off your Christmas to-do list—and get a few more holiday shots of tinsel-clad toddlers on their tippy-toes. 


  • In a snow-capped locale – If you live in a snowy location, you have the world at your fingertips. Visit an ice rink or snowy forest for a frosty Christmas photo. You can even take pictures as you and your family build a snowman on your front lawn. 


  • Surrounded by lightsOne of the most magical parts of the holiday season has to be the decorations. If you go all-out with your trimmings, you can have a photoshoot done by your house and show off your craftsmanship. If not, you can always check out a historic downtown location or attend a local Christmas Tree Lighting to light up your family pictures in a big way. 


Fashion Snapshot: Usher in the colder weather and a perfect family photo with nostalgic patterns that fit any location. Our Woven Ruffle Bow Dress, Long Sleeve Button Down, and Woven Flutter Bubble Romper come in two prints, jolly stripe and garland plaid, for festive fits for the whole family.


#4 Have a Snowball Fight

Duck and cover! Traditional photos aren’t for every family. Show your friends and relatives that you know how to let loose and have a good time with family photos that pack a punch.


Take your family photos to the extreme by waging an all-out snowball war. You can split your teams into parents vs. children, boys vs. girls, or have a total free-for-all. Just make sure not to hit your photographer. 


Fashion Snapshot: When it comes to Christmas outfits for girls and boys, deck your family in cozy essentials like tights and festive pom beanies for a cozy-chic feel. 


#5 Snuggle Together with Sweaters

Sweaters can make an excellent focal point for a traditional holiday feel that brings smiles to every face. 


Fashion Snapshot: Sweaters can wrap your family photo in warmth, comfort, and cheer, and they come in a variety of styles that can customize any holiday shoot:


  • Graphic sweaters – Tons of silly, snarky sweaters exist to help you get a message across to your audience. Whether you want to say deck the halls or bah, humbug, you can sit back and let the sweater do the talking. 



  • Ugly sweaters – Ugly sweaters can help alleviate any existing pressure of the perfect shot with a good laugh. Ever since gaining mainstream attention in the ‘80s, ugly sweaters remain a Christmas tradition for many families. Show the world that while you may not take yourself seriously, you certainly take family fun seriously. 


#6 Send a Message

Want to spread a message of joy to the world this Christmas? Well, that’s nothing a trip to the craft store can’t fix. Grab some large wooden letters and pose with them for your holiday photo shoot. 


Short messages tend to work the best, so consider spelling words like:


  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Merry


If you don’t like the look of the wood, you can also grab some paint supplies and decorate them however you want. Ooh, and don’t forget the glitter. 


Fashion Snapshot: To keep the emphasis on your message, opt for classic clothing styles and solid colors—the Ruffled Long Sleeve Layering Tee and Knit 3/4 Sleeve Twirl Dress are simple holiday staples.


#7 Go Formal 

Even if you don’t have any holiday parties on the calendar, that shouldn’t stop you from getting all gussied up. Dressing in formal attire can give you a lovely snapshot of your family looking their absolute best for you to look back on for years. 


Fashion Snapshot: Besides the traditional formal dresses, cardigans, and bow ties, you can also turn to color coordination for some extra flair. Lean into some classic Christmas colors to keep the festivities bright:


  • Red and green – It’s hard to beat this classic Christmas color scheme. It can also make for an elegant holiday photo if balanced with some lovely neutrals. Whether you prefer plaid, velvet, or a more understated pop of color, a red and green go will pair well with black or beige. 


  • White and gold Make like the tinsel on your tree and shine bright with this classy color combination. The white and gold look provides a clean and elegant color palette for any background. 


  • Blue and silverBecome the silver bells of the ball with a frosty color combination that brings out the best in the season. Silver accessories such as earrings, necklaces, or even a Christmas tiara can pull the whole ensemble together. 


You’re never too old to play dress up or to teach your little ones how to tie a tie. Make the most of your photos with adorable dresses or bodysuits for your little Christmas miracles. 


#8 Invite Your Pets

Just as Santa has his trusty reindeer, many families don’t feel complete without their furry companion. So don’t leave them out in the cold—invite them in for the picture party. 


Fashion Snapshot: If your dog or cat is obedient enough to sit through a Christmas photo session, you can take it a step further by dressing them up. 


Treat your furry friend to:


  • Reindeer antlers
  • A Santa hat
  • Elf ears
  • A Christmas sweater
  • A jingle bell collar


But our favorite is the Peppermint Stripe Pet Bandana for a classic holiday look. 


When taking family pictures, it’s crucial to include all family members. And who knows? If your pet behaves, Santa may leave a new bone or catnip under the tree. 


#9 Pose as Santa and His Elves

If you’ve made your list (and checked it twice), you know a thing or two about stepping into Santa’s boots. Take it further by having your family dress up as Santa and his elves and reward yourselves with generous helpings of milk and cookies after the photo shoot.


Fashion Snapshot: Dress your little elves in Ruffle Strap Wide Leg Pants, a Waffle Knit Longall Rompers, and Big Bows to complete the look. 


#10 Celebrate with Candids

If you want to spread Christmas cheer, you can have a photographer capture that Christmas spirit in real-time. Spend time in your home and celebrate Christmas as you usually would while your photographer snaps some candids. 


Many professional photographers prefer candid photos over posed photos, as they highlight a person’s true character and authentic smile. Give your loved ones something to smile about by: 


  • Making Christmas cookies
  • Decorating the Christmas tree
  • Throwing confetti 
  • Dancing to your favorite Christmas tunes
  • Hanging stockings over the fireplace
  • Kissing under the mistletoe


Forget about the camera and capture the pure magic of the holidays. You may end up with a new favorite photo to put out on your mantel. 


Fashion Snapshot: Keep the holiday ensembles as sweet and simple as candy canes with Merry & Bright Twirl Dresses, Ruffle Leggings, and Full Length Rompers.


Picture Your Holidays with RuffleButts

Whether you prefer traditional holiday photos or silly snapshots of your family in action, there’s no wrong way to do the holidays. As long as you’re true to your family values, you can confidently wrap the holidays up in a neat bow. 


Get your family into the Christmas spirit with RuffleButts. 


Our holiday shop provides more goodies than Santa’s sleigh. From comfy pajamas to the perfect newborn winter outfit, we’ve got styles to see your child through the entire holiday season. You can also snag some excellent stocking stuffers with our collection of matching sets and accessories. 


Plus, with our clothing collections ranging from babies to tweens, you can dress your whole family in a pinch. Santa who?




 CNN. A Cozy History of the Christmas Sweater. https://www.cnn.com/style/article/ugly-christmas-jumpers/index.html


Jordan Pinder Photography. Why Candid Photography Makes the Best Memories. http://jordanpinder.com/2019/09/02/candid-photography/