Dressing Your Family for Christmas Photos

Dec 14, 2018

It's been three years since we've taken our last family photo. The boys have grown so much in that time that I decided we needed to have one taken as soon as possible. I don't get as stressed about it as much as I used to because I have a formula down when it comes to dressing everyone. Here are some my best tips!

Consider Your Backdrop

The photography studio sent out a photo of the set in an email, and I just loved the way they decorated it! I thought lighter colors would work better than traditional red with the backdrop. This dress also comes in black and claret, but the blush color goes so nicely with the gray and white. I knew the skirt would photograph pretty when sitting too.  Also, consider if it's casual or dressy. This setting could go either way so I let the boys wear jeans while my husband and I dressed up a bit more. Their collared shirts still blended with our outfits.

Start with Girls/Women's Outfits First

It's much easier to dress men than women! Find an outfit that works with the colors and theme of the setting first for the women and girls. Then, dress the men and boys.

Limit Clothing Patterns

I have a maximum of two people in our family that get to wear a pattern. Everyone else gets a solid shirt. If an outfit starts to look a little plain consider adding a tie, contrasting colors or layering. I layered my husband's and youngest son's tops by adding a solid sweater over a plaid shirt. It's less expensive to layer the ones that still wear kids sizes, which is why my youngest is layered rather than my 16 year old who wears a men's sizes. Luckily, my husband already had this sweater so I only had to purchase one sweater instead of two.

Talk to Your Kids About Behavior Before You Get to the Studio

My kids are older, but when they all get together they revert back to preschoolers. They poke, push, etc. I let them know beforehand that we were on a time limit so they had to be serious and pay attention to the photographer. When they were younger I promised them a treat afterward for good behavior. I just had to say the word "cookies" and they straightened up fast! Now, that they're older and should know better I let them know there will be consequences for bad behavior-taking away Xbox remotes or phones. Also, remind them that the more they do as they are told the faster it goes!

Take a Hair/Make-up Bag

I had to fix two of the boys' hair before photos. Thank goodness I had hairspray and a brush on me!

Make it Fun!

If you want them to happily take photos again it needs to be a good memory. We laughed a lot during these photos. I mentioned that I didn't even have to fake a smile because the boys were cracking me up. We took ours in the evening and then went out for dinner. It ended up being a great night!

Happy Holidays from my crazy crew to yours!

-Jason, Jennifer, Dylan, Ryan & Aidan


Christmas Home Tour 2018

Dec 12, 2018

Welcome to my Christmas home tour! It's my favorite post every year. I've already shown you a few main rooms because they were so picture heavy. If you want to see more make sure to go back to the previous posts. I usually start my tour on the front porch, but this year I want to show you my foyer first because it's the most dramatic change.

I have a second tree! It's something I've thought about for a while, but finally bought one this year. The hammered gold tree collar is one of favorite new buys. My foyer table reindeer makes his appearance again, too. He's still my ultimate favorite!

I have rarely showed this view because it was unfinished, but between the new lighting and wainscoting on the landing I love it now. There are still future plans to finish it off. Hopefully, next year it will be 100% complete.


I think this is my favorite photo this year. You get to see so many Christmas decorations in one shot.

Let's move to the dining room! I loved last year's dining room with the fresh greenery and white decor, but this year I wanted traditional color while still keeping it light and bright. A bit of burgundy with the ivory and gold neutral decor is all I needed.

I added fresh greenery in with my dried boxwood garland to make it more substantial. I absolutely love Christmas garland with fruit. Real pomegranates also repeat the burgundy color of the ribbons and bows.

A simple ribbon down the center of the table adds a bit of color.

My etched wineglasses I bought before Thanksgiving mixed with the new gold chargers. I love that I can use both for any holiday. A snowflake napkin ring adds a seasonal touch to the place setting.

I loved putting this champagne and dessert bar together. It was gone in minutes with three boys in the house! My husband and I enjoyed the champagne after spending several hours outside hanging Christmas lights.


As much as I love these rooms the coziest spot in the house is in the living room sitting by the fire enjoying the lights from the Christmas tree. 

A battery operated strand of lights is such a pretty look draped across the gifts under the tree. These are my placeholders until I wrap presents. I should get on that!


Just a few blue touches in the kitchen...

The breakfast room has a bit of traditional red. This is where I put the boys hot cocoa bar and our old whimsical decor from when they were young. I kept the table simple since it's where we eat most of our meals. I didn't want anything too tall or taking up too much table space.


I have more traditional red outdoors, too. The garland is inexpensive from Wal-Mart that I doubled up on. I didn't want to spend much on something that was exposed to the elements. I added the lights and a timer myself. If one goes out it will be easy to replace. The ornaments are non-breakable from At Home. I can also replace the ones that start to show wear and tear by adding them myself. I wanted the red to be a bit darker, more of a cranberry color than the bright red from last year to go better with the brick. I used the remaining old bright red ornaments and mixed them with the darker red color. Costco has the best deal on large poinsettias, which is where I found these. 

I loved these battery operated wreaths with a timer so much that I bought one for each window. They were also on sale for $35! My favorite outdoor decor is wreaths and candles for windows. Unfortunately, I haven't found a candle that will fit with the shutters yet. We also have lights lining the yard and around the trees because that's what my husband and kids like.

I can't end a Christmas tour without a photo of Mario!

I hope you enjoyed this year's home tour! Don't forget to read the previous Christmas posts for more detailed information on several of the rooms. Happy Holidays!