With Christmas a week from today and Hanukkah starting in two nights, it’s the perfect time to give you all my holiday photo checklist. Just like at Halloween, I make a list of photos I HAVE to get. This really comes in handy on Christmas – things are so hectic with the multitudes of family and “This toy needs batteries!” and champagne that I would definitely forget shots if I didn’t have a list.

1. The decorations – My mom has the most amazing Christmas displays. Every room has something special from her childhood or mine, and she spends days putting it all together. Yet, I have NO pictures of any of them! This year I will change that.

Spencer's Gingerbread house

Lynn's house

The Annie Tree

2. A new or special ornament – My parents get a new ornament every year to represent something that happened in that calendar year. Mike and I started this tradition in 2005, when we moved in together.


looking at her sister's ornament

3. Christmas Jammies – Mike’s family gets a new set of Christmas pajamas on Christmas eve. We’ve started that tradition with our kids, too.

Maddie, Rigby, Spencer

4. The pile of presents – I blame the grandparents for these piles.

Santa came!

are these all for me?


5. Opening Presents – This is especially important because it really forces me to stop and see the joy on people’s faces – especially as Annie and my nephews and niece get older.

Maddie opens a present from Santa

opening presents

6. Playing with new toys – Annie has a big present from Santa coming this year and I cannot wait to get pictures of her playing with it.

Her new doll


7. Special/Traditional foods – Food is a big deal in our family, and Christmas day is no exception. When my aunt hosts Christmas she always makes something funny/special.

dining table

football pate

8. A family photo – This is a tradition that I plan on continuing, but with a few tweaks – I want to get all the cousins together, a big extended family picture, and Annie with her grandparents.

The Spohrs on Christmas


9. The lights – I have five different places in my house with Christmas lights up. I love how twinkly and magical they are. Later this week we’ll take Annie for a drive to look at the houses in our neighborhood – a tradition that goes back to my childhood.

my house

tree bokeh

kissmas tee

Definitely check out this adorable Handmade Holidays book – so many great ideas!

What are your must-take photos?