ThreeJars Daily: Make a Beautiful Family Holiday Card—On The Cheap!

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Make a Beautiful Family Holiday Card—On The Cheap!

Don’t bake? No problem! Here are some fun, envy-worthy treats you can make for your family without spending a lot—no oven required. Smell the sweet success!

By Amanda May Dundas

It’s all about timing.
No, we’re not talking about clicking the shutter at the exact right moment. Rather, it’s about knowing when your kids are likely to be at their best. “Are your kids morning people, or are they happier in the early afternoon?” asks Pomeroy. “Find that niche when they are rested and well fed, and they’ll be more likely to cooperate.”
Still can’t get them to smile? Try something unexpected – tell them to make their silliest or scariest face, or act like a superhero. Chances are you’ll get them laughing, and you’ll get a great shot when you’re least expecting it.

Opt for a change of scenery.
You may have your heart set on a picture in front of your fireplace or Christmas tree, but home is one of the hardest places to get a great shot, says Pomeroy. “Kids are less likely to sit still when they’re in their own element, with other things that they’d rather be doing,” she says. “You’re better off distracting them by going outside.” Keep your camera in the car so you’re ready when the moment strikes. “Some of the best holiday card photos I’ve seen come not from planned photo shoots, but from snapping pictures when kids are in great moods,” she says.

Turn off the dreaded flash.
Nothing sours a child’s mood faster than being blinded by that bright bulb. “If you take pictures in the right light, you really won’t need a flash for the photo to turn out great,” says Pomeroy. To capture the perfect light, have your child slowly turn around. “When you can see your reflection in your child’s eyes, they are in good light,” explains Pomeroy.

Manage your expectations.
“Everyone wants their kids to look like they stepped straight from a Ralph Lauren ad,” says Pomeroy. “But that’s just not realistic.” Micromanaging what your kids wear and how they stand or sit will take the fun out of it for everyone – and put no one in the mood to smile. “Just relax and have fun, and you’ll get a great photo, even if it isn’t the one you’re envisioning in your head,” says Pomeroy.
And if you really can’t get a nice picture of your whole family together, look for cards that have room for multiple photos and use individual shots. “It doesn’t matter if one child is in a bathing suit and the other is in a snowsuit,” she says. “People are just happy to see pictures of your family.”

Amanda May Dundas is a freelance writer living in the lower Hudson Valley in New York.


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