How to Shoot the Perfect Holiday Card

Jeanine Mouchawar
2 min readDec 24, 2020


Focus on why a picture is important to you.

Every year since the kids were born, we’ve taken a holiday card picture. As soon as I mention it, my kids start complaining.

I overhear them saying to each other: “Guys, just smile and cooperate so we can be done with this.”

Or when we are on vacation, “Hey, let’s get a good picture now, so mom won’t torture us in December.”

Or the attempt at cooperation, “Just wear whatever mom tells you-I mean, who cares?”

Let’s face it, yelling “smile” at your kids is probably not going to get you the desired result.

So why do I torture my family (and myself) every year?

Connection. With friends and family spread over the country, the holiday card is a way to feel connected. I enjoy seeing pictures of them, so I assume they enjoy seeing pictures of my family too.

Growth. I am reminded that change is the only constant. For me, the holidays are an anchor in time and I enjoy having documentation of the kid’s through the years (not so much me!)

Belonging. Although my kids complain every year, it’s an opportunity for them to be a team and create a sense of belonging to one another. And to be honest, watching their continually evolving relationship brings me joy.

When you feel anger or frustration creeping in as you are trying to get everyone to smile for the camera, keep in mind why you really want a holiday picture. When you focus on why you are doing it, versus making it perfect, everyone can relax and lean into the fun.

This year we attempted a photo of all five of us for the first time in six years. Prioritizing connection, growth, and belonging enabled all of us to laugh and have fun together, adding to the joyful memories of our family of five.

Hanukkah and Christmas are the celebration of light. Although this year might not look like past years, let’s keep in mind what’s truly meaningful and important to us and be the light for our family and friends too.

Sending lots of light, love, peace, and joy to each and every one of you.
Merry Christmas!

“Ask yourself: Is there joy, ease, and lightness in what I am doing? If there isn’t, then time is covering up the present moment and life is perceived as a burden or a struggle.”
-Eckhart Tolle

Originally published at on December 24, 2020.



Jeanine Mouchawar

Hi! I am a Life Design Coach partnering with motivated people to create a life filled with meaning and joy.