On The (Not So) Perfect Holiday Photo (Plus free Shutterfly cards)

The Good Enough Family Photo

‘Tis the season for widespread panic over getting the perfect family photo to show off in your holiday cards. I know people who spend hours trying to capture a gorgeous photo, with smiling faces, well-dressed kids & family harmony. I’m not one of them.

Because that’s not my life.

I don’t have perfect children. We’re not always smiling. They look like ragamuffins most days (despite closets full of gorgeous clothes with matching accessories). And, harmony? Belongs exclusively to the barbershop quartets.

Okay, so we don’t want to showcase the bickering & whining. It might not spread great tidings of joy to send a picture of my girls sticking their tongues out at one another. But the preteen eyeroll? I would love to include that shot in her grandparents’ Christmas cards!

Always twirling


My girls select their own outfits—I do require the outfit to match for portraits, but I don’t make them coordinate with the rest of the family. They choose their own hairstyle, even if it’s none at all. And, I don’t insist on formal poses. I’ve even been known to skip the portraits altogether and use casual snapshots.

Funny Face

I’m not after a perfect family portrait. I just want to capture a moment in our family life. If that means Lorelai is mid twirl, so be it. If Brenia’s hair is mussed from goofing around right before the camera flash, that’s what she looks like at age 7. If Stacia is completely spacing out and/or rolling her eyes—well, I’d have managed to capture her essence.

Pictures again?


My biggest stress with holiday photo cards is narrowing down my pictures. I want to share them all! That’s why I was so excited to see several photo collage options from Shutterfly—352 choices for including 3 or more photos. This family story card holds 10 photos!

This year’s Sokol Family Christmas card will definitely come from the holiday story collection—I love the timeline cards, especially. I think this one tops my list—simple, classic, with plenty of room to share snapshots of our year with friends & family.

It’s going to be a tossup between that and this highly customizable card. With up to 9 photos on the cover and dozens of layout options for the inside, it doesn’t get any more personal. But, how do you choose just one?!

Perhaps I don’t need quite so many options…


Do you want 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly? Click here to go to Shutterfly for information on how you can get 50 free cards this holiday season, and make sure to select Clever 1000 as the referral source.

This post is part of a series sponsored by Shutterfly. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

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Article by justheather

Heather Sokol is the married mother of many amazing, active children through birth, adoption, and foster care. They have created in her a Sports Mom, Scout Mom, Band Mom, Dance Mom, Allergy Mom & avid coupon clipper. Is that miscellaneous enough for you? She shares her deals & tips at Inexpensively.com and reports progress on learning to be a grownup at JustHeather.com. justheather tagged this post with: , , , Read 94 articles by
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  1. I just finished putting together my blog post for tomorrow. Eerily similar to this one…

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