For many, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year! Here are some of our favorite holiday family photos that had us laughing, crying, and, well, counting down to the big day.
Not Feeling It
Most kids count down to the moment they get to meet Santa and sit on his lap; understandably, though, not every child sees the appeal of hanging out with a random white-bearded stranger.
This kid is not looking to fake a smile for the sake of his mother's camera and her picture-perfect moment. He's holding onto that gift tightly and screaming for his freedom. Quite frankly, he wants to know what all the festive fuss is about. Better luck next year, mom.
All a Blur
If one doesn't take a minute to absorb and appreciate all the joy of Christmas Day, it's likely to go by in a flash. The next morning, they'll be left with no memories to hold on to - just a raging hangover, a bloated stomach, and a giant mess to clean up.
These parents have learned that lesson through their years of experience, but this kid has not. He's too excited about all the food, decorations, and gifts to stick around for a photo. The result is a big blur at the center of the family photograph. He may live to regret that one.
It's Been a Long Week
Christmas time is rough for parents. As a kid, it's all fun and joy, blissfully unaware of all the work needed behind the scenes to make it all happen. From gift-buying to tree decorating, it's a burden great enough to put a parent off Christmas for life.
Is it all worth it when the day finally arrives? While usually, the photo captures a brief moment of peace, where everyone braces a smile for mere seconds, sometimes even that doesn't go to plan. Take this family, for example, one kid running off, another kid's in tears, mum's finished, and dad's faking a smile through it all.
Santa Gets It
As mentioned, not every kid enjoys their visit to Santa's grotto. After years of welcoming children into his home, Santa has learned a thing or two. He no longer takes offense when a child bursts into tears in his presence. He goes for a different approach…
He opts for the 'if you can't beam them, join them' take on life. So, when a kid starts screaming, he joins in on the fun. Matching the kid's facial expression, it almost seems like it was meant to go that way. Besides, even Santa needs to let out his anger once in a while.
Dad Needs Sleep
Parents often think gifting their child a dollhouse is a great idea. A chance for them to get away from their screens and explore their imaginations. That plan seems concrete until dad is forced to build it the next morning, hungover and exhausted from the night before's celebrations.
After receiving the gift of their dreams, kids are understandably impatient to try them out. Sadly, before the toys keep them busy for hours, the parents are required to get involved. Over the years, parents learned the hard way - from now on, it's pre-installed gifts all the way! This dad's facial expression says it all.
It's a popular tradition for families to send out Christmas cards ahead of the big day. A postcard with a photo of the family, smiling blissfully at the camera with a 'wishing you a merry Christmas' note underneath. To the reader, it seems effortless, a one-take wonder.
Unless they're a parent themselves, there's no way anyone can fully comprehend the blood, sweat, and tears that goes on behind the camera. This family photo outtake depicts it all perfectly - tears, exhaustion, and a power-through-it-all smile! They do say, fake it till you make it.
Naughty or Nice
Legend has it that as Christmas approaches, Santa will examine every child and determine if they have been naughty or nice in the past year. Those who are deemed nice will be presented with the gifts of their dreams. The naughty kids will be left empty-handed.
With this in mind, it may be concluded that the kid on the left is nice, and the one on the right is naughty - crying over his lack of gift. The mom, however, revealed this photo was taken after the left kid stole the teddy belonging to his brother. That's a cunning victory smile right there. Nothing's ever as it seems.
Santa Gets Caught
As children, we were led to believe that Santa was a saint - a stand-up man who lived his life in the pursuit of handing out gifts to those who deserved them. As far as we were concerned, he was a true giver at his core, a selfless man who prioritized everyone's needs over his own.
As adults, we understand that no one is perfect, and everyone gives in to their internal desires once in a while. In this photo, Santa's been caught red-handed, stocking up in one of his customers' goodies! Who's to blame him? We'd also get hungry after all that traveling.
A 21st-Century Christmas
With the invention of technology and smartphones came the arrival of the 21st-century Christmas. It's an entirely new breed of holiday where families spend time in the same room but involve themselves in no conversation. Each family member sits in silence, looking down into their digital world.
This family wasn't looking to fake anything for their Christmas card this year. They're giving their friends and family an exact idea of what their day is set to look like - a window into their approach to Christmas. Yea, they have the tree and festive lights up, but no one's looking up at any point to see it all.
Large families are great fun, especially at Christmas time. With all the kids in one room keeping each other entertained, the adults are free to party hard with no distractions. The only problem with having many children around arises when it's time for the family photograph...
Getting one child to face forward and smile for a camera is hard enough; try multiplying that by 20. In quantities that great, it's an impossible task. As seen above, the only option, really, is to shout cheese and hope for the best. Yes, they'll be a few screaming faces, but there's bound to be a few smiles in there, right?
Gift, Or Else
This kid has done the math, and he's come to the conclusion that he's not making it into the nice list this year. But that's okay; he has a backup plan to ensure Santa still stops by with his gifts. He's going for the threatening approach - that stare says he's not messing about.
After doing his research, he learned that even Santa must abide by the Highway Code. So, if there's a stop sign outside his home, Santa has no choice but to stop there. Not taking any risks at being caught out, he's designed an exact replica of a true-life stop sign. It's a foolproof plan, really.
A Kitten's Playground
Kids may be the focus of Christmas, but it is important we don't forget another dependent group who live their best lives come December 25. Immediately after the kids have opened their gifts and thrown the wrapping paper to the side, it's the cats' time to play.
The abundance of paper to tear through is the ultimate cat playground, a festive treat like no other. Yes, the mess will take hours to clear up, but even pets deserve to enjoy Christmas! Gift wrap the children's presents, and that's the entire family sorted in one!
The Thunder Stealer
Another group that tends to be in the background this time of year is the dogs. Sometimes they're invited to be a part of the family photos, and sometimes they're left sadly on the sidelines. When they make it into the shot, they have to be sure to make it count.
This dog is seemingly fed up with his kid brothers getting all the attention, and he's looking to steal their thunder and make his mark. This outrageous pose will undoubtedly guarantee no one will be talking about anything but him. Go big or go home.
Tinsel Too Far
We love tinsel as much as the next person, but we like it to remain on the Christmas tree, sparkling as intended. While the setup for this photograph had everything in place for the perfect festive photo, the silver tinsel had other plans.
Without any back story provided, we're having a hard time figuring out just how this photo came to be and how that tinsel ended up in front of the woman's face. One theory is that it fell in front of her just as the camera clicked. Alternatively, it was always in that position, and she was just feeling camera shy.
What's That Smell?
Nothing makes for a better photo than someone letting off an unpleasant gas smell just as the camera flashes. Smiles at the ready, it's now or never for the chance to get the all-important annual Christmas family photo. And then, in a matter of seconds, it all takes a turn for the worse...
A smell so pungent, every family member has no choice but to physically react to the nasal threat that has come their way. As for the culprit? There's no telling from this photo who's behind it. They all look as surprised and unimpressed as each other.
When parents search for the perfect Christmas gift for their child, they are not doing so merely from the bottom of their hearts. Instead, it's a matter of life or death, as they know they will have the kids to answer to if they don't get it just right.
When these kids were left unsatisfied with their gifts under the tree, they took matters into their own hands and sought to teach their parents a lesson. Fairy lights serve as a great backup to rope, and those parents are sure to never make the same mistake again. Were they set free eventually? No-one knows.
A Range Of Moods
By now, we've covered almost every possible child response to meeting Santa. For that reason, this photo seemed like the perfect way to encapsulate it all into one picture. Put simply, there are three types of children at Christmas, and these parents were blessed with one of each.
On the left, we have the unhappy, get-me-out-of-here child. For now, she seems to be holding back her tears, but she's sure to burst any second. In the center, we have the unimpressed, let-me-know-when-this-is-over kid. Lastly, on the right is the excited child who's been waiting for this moment since last year.
It may be named Santa's Grotto, but that's to say he is the sole resident. Alongside him are his elves, recruited to be his little helpers. Not only do they help Santa find the perfect gifts for deserving children, but they also help him take the perfect photos, teaching him all the cool, hip ways to pose.
When the children are all asleep, Santa and his elves spend countless hours laughing and posing in the Photo Booth. Although he's unlikely to pull a peace-out sign with the kids, it's important he knows what's up in the real world—Santa plus elves equal squad goals.
A Respectful Attempt
Another tradition at this time of year is to make a gingerbread house. Children walk into school, proudly showing off the creations their parents worked on till the early hours of the morning. But what about those mothers and fathers who don't have a knack for baked home design?
For those, this challenge can be a daunting task that fast approaches with little warning. This mom tried her best, and that's something of its own to be congratulated. She may not be happy with the final roofless result, but we don't think we could do much better! A job well done, in our opinion.
From the minute Christmas ends, kids begin their countdown till the next time they will run down the stairs towards the brightly-lit tree. It's not the lights they care about so much; instead, it's the gifts that can usually be found lying below them.
No questions need to be asked about why these children look so disappointed. In their pajamas, they clearly awoke and ran straight down. To their surprise, nothing lay below the tree other than a blanket in a box. Was this all a setup? There must be some reasonable explanation for the oversight. Not worth the wait.
An Overexcited Pup
This dog loves Christmas. From the endless food scraps to the stimulating lights and decorations, it's definitely his favorite public holiday. Sometimes, however, he seems to get a little too excited, wrapping himself up in the string of fairy lights.
Now, he's stuck standing there like a decorated Christmas tree, waiting for someone to set him free. The pup's face screams feelings of self-disappointment and loathing. He had allowed himself to get overexcited yet again, leading to the same result. Would he ever learn?
Just Take the Photo Already
There's only one thing a dog hates more than being forced to wear a silly costume, and that's taking group photos. So, one can imagine the canines' delight when they were brought out into the snowy forest for a festive-themed photoshoot. They just wanted it over with.
Some pups were given just an elf hat to don, while the unluckier dogs were made to wear a cape or vest as well. Feeling they had made enough of an effort by just being there and not running off, the dogs did as they pleased when it came to their pose. Looking at the camera was viewed as optional.
This baby is emotionally and physically drained from all the Christmas celebrations this year. During the first winter holidays in his life, he was not looking to take it easy. As far as he was concerned, this Christmas would foreshadow all of those in the future.
So, he went big at the parties and is now living through the consequences of his actions. No, mom, he won't fake a smile for the pictures; he's being his authentic self and showing the world what it really feels like to wake up on the morning after Christmas. It's a tough world out there.
The Masked Santa
Forgot to sign the children up for a visit to Santa's grotto and have no white-bearded man at hand to play Santa? No problem! This picture proves one can just throw a Santa mask on any person, and the kids are unlikely to notice anything out of the ordinary.
The masked Santa may be slightly scary to all those who know otherwise, but those kids seem satisfied and happy with their Santa visit. With the red cardigan, big belly, and white hair and beard, those children are none the wiser. That's Christmas saved.
These dog owners may have thought it was an ingenious idea to disguise their dogs as Santa's reindeer, but no one is falling for it, unfortunately. Although their fur color was on point for the costume, it seems people don't make the necessary associations when there's no Santa or sleigh in sight.
In this photo, the dogs look slightly depressed, disappointed they let their owners take control of their costume design once again. There weren't any presents in return, and now they're just left looking dumb in reindeer ears. It's decided - next year, they're going as themselves.
We Didn't Agree to This
It's always left to the cutest members of the family to lead the Christmas photographs. Seeing grown adults dressed up in elf and Santa costumes is fun and all, but nothing compares to a baby and dog doing so. Most of the time, they'll oblige, sitting down together for a snap.
But, after the fourth or fifth photo, this baby and dog have had enough of all the fanfare. This baby looks deep in thought, wondering how she let the situation go on this far. With no ability to speak just yet, she was unable to object to this costume and photoshoot. Oh well, at least she and the dog are in it together.
Protect At All Costs
Last Christmas, this father spent numerous hours designing and perfecting the Christmas tree for all the family to enjoy. To his shock and horror, when he came down the stairs on Christmas morning, it had been destroyed, thrown around, and dismantled by the children and pets in the house.
This year, he's not taking any risks, taking any drastic measure necessary to protect his work of art. When the tree was completed, he constructed a wooden enclosure for it to be held. Now everyone can see the tree while it remains at a safe distance from unwelcome intruders.
My Time To Shine
This is yet another dog looking to be the center of attention this Christmas. However, while other canines steal the show by whipping out their best moves and poses, this pup is of the belief that aggression is the way forward in life. With another dog beside him, he had to fight to stand out.
When his adoptive parents held him in their arms and stood in front of the tree, this dog was having none of it. His adopted father may be holding him up for the cameras, but his adopted mother was serving him no purpose. For that reason, he used his leg force to kick her out of the way. It's the no-nonsense pathway to fame.
The Morning-After Tree
This tree pretty much sums up how most of us feel (and let's face it, look) the morning after Christmas. We may have gone to sleep with our make-up still on and woken up with it almost intact, but our ability to stand up straight is questionable to say the least.
When this family came downstairs on December 26 and saw their fallen tree, they chose to photograph the iconic, relatable moment rather than pick it back up. With New Year just around the corner, we have a few days to relax before we need to put everything back in order.
Santa's Got Moves
With Christmas on the horizon comes the arrival of the school's Christmas play. For the more talented children, it's a chance to show off their dancing talents for all the class parents to see. But amongst all this, it is often forgotten that Santa has some moves of his own too.
This inflatable leg-splitting Santa is purposely placed outside the school building, reminding the parents and children that he is the original Christmas dancing legend. It's Santa like we've never seen him before, in a way we never knew we needed. Merry Christmas to all!