I am a HUGE picture taker. I make it my goal to capture all those perfect moments so that I will have plenty to look back on when I am old and grey. There are so many times we get the camera out and say cheese. There are all the firsts of childhood, family and school events, funny poses and of course holidays. There are all the standby holiday picture favorites, opening their gifts, playing in the snow, or baking cookies but I have found that there are far more memories we can miss out on because they aren’t the “traditional” pictures we think of. I have made a list of must have holiday pictures to take so that these precious few years we have with our children can be remembered with all the quirks that come with a family holiday.

  1. Seeing Santa (or Santa’s helper) for the first time: We have the pictures with Santa sitting on the mantle every year, but we often fail to capture that moment when they first eye the jolly man in red sitting in that beautiful mall display.  There are two things to keep in mind for this picture though. One, you need two people because you need to still be able to keep an eye on your little one, and two, it may not always be a good reaction. The honesty of the reaction is what you want to remember, even if it is a poor reaction, because those are the stories you tell your children when they are older.
  2. Making those gifts for extended family: The grandparents in the family will really appreciate the photo of your little one working hard on their gift. They may even cherish the picture more because it is of their beautiful grandchild. Also, you don’t get to keep the wonderful creation your child makes since it is a gift but you will always have the memory with a photo.
  3. Waking up Mom or Dad (whoever snoozes the longest) on Christmas Day: There are so many posed photos on Christmas day it is nice to get a snapshot of the classic memory of getting Mom and Dad up for present time. Most often the resulting photo will be amusing for the picture taker and it will also be a funny reminder when your children complain of being woken up at the crack of dawn by their kids.
  4. Wrapping gifts: We sometimes get caught up in the “chore” of wrapping gifts and fail to remember that the wrapping is an important part of what makes gift giving so much fun. Let your kids decorate their wrapping paper with their own drawings and click a quick picture of their hard work.

There are of course many other candid holiday opportunities but my main point is to remember all the moments of your holiday, not just the picture perfect ones. Try to take a few minutes to make a list before the holiday of all the moments that you want to capture. If you have a list your are more likely to remember to pull your camera out for all of those rare opportunities. Capture what makes your family’s holiday special from every other moment in time.

Photo Credit: http://cdn2.blogs.babble.com/toddler-times