Especially during a year when social distancing guidelines are preventing us from seeing our friends and family, holiday cards can really lock in that feeling of togetherness. Sending out family Christmas cards is a great way to spread cheer, give your loved ones an update on how you’re doing, and show them how your family has changed — especially how those little ones have grown!

A family Christmas card shouldn’t be a low-effort feat, however. Think of it as a real photoshoot, complete with consideration of your outfit theme, hair, and makeup. If possible, consider hiring a qualified cosmetologist to come to your home and help you style. They can provide tips on the right hair, makeup, and clothing selections for adults and kids.

Know Your Colors

Decide on a color scheme for the aesthetic of your card. Red and green may be the typical holiday hues, but a more understated color selection can still evoke festive vibes, while offering a more modern feel. For example, warm tones like burgundy and gold still showcase the Christmas spirit while maintaining a more contemporary look.

For women, gold-hued eye makeup paired with a deep burgundy dress can really exemplify the warmth of the season. Gold jewelry pieces are also a beautiful touch.

Even a plain black outfit theme can play into the holiday feel if it’s coupled with bright accents like glitter eyeshadow, sparkling jewelry, and a jolly backdrop complete with warm-toned string lights.

Show Uniformity

Whether the photoshoot consists of you with your spouse and little ones, or even with your most treasured pet, a cohesive aesthetic is everything. Here are some themes to consider:

  • Monotoned colors with festive accents. For example, black and gray Christmas sweaters that feature snowflakes, trees, and other holiday-themed elements. Or any uniform color-coordination with a Santa hat to top off the look.
  • Go full jolly. Red & green themed outfits against an understated backdrop like an under-decorated Christmas tree (so as not to visually overwhelm the photo). Maybe opt for a costume theme like Santa’s Workshop: Mr. and Mrs. Claus, complete with their little elves.
  • Outdoorsy vibes. Some families love to showcase their adventurous spirit by featuring a snowy photoshoot as their Christmas card cover. In this case, decking yourselves out in outdoor apparel across the board still counts as following a uniform theme.

Pro Tip: If your holiday photoshoot also serves as an engagement announcement, beautiful nails are everything for showing off your new rock! Hire a nail tech who will give you beautiful fingernails that make your ring pop.

Keep a Casual Aesthetic

To really keep the family vibes, don’t go over-the-top on your Christmas card shoot. Three-piece suits and your most elegant evening gown are a little out-of-place with the theme of the holidays. Find attire that is elegant but not overwhelming: a cashmere sweater, a plain black sweater dress, maybe a chunky knit cardigan.

Aim for hairstyles that are neat but simple. For women, this might mean letting your hair down. While an updo is great for a professional photoshoot, Christmas card photoshoots are better suited to half-up/half-down, loose curls, or unassuming braids (like an easy crown braid).

For men, a neat trim with a little bit of styling gel is perfect. For men with longer hair, a low ponytail keeps a neutral, inviting look.