Merry Christmas week! As we head off into the holidays, we can’t wait to see our Instagram feeds filled up with family photos from all over the world. I personally have five Christmases on deck over the next week, and plan on getting seriously snap happy with everyone in my family. But you know what’s better than cute photos of you and your relatives? Awkward photos of you and your relatives.

And guess what? We’ve got 17 ways for you to nail that awkward pose, outfit, or facial expression. Nervous smiles, uncomfortable closeness and silly hats are all fair game. Let’s DO this.

1. The Five-Person Lap Sit: Not only are these five people all sitting in a strange hybrid wall-sit lap-sit pose, but they are wearing Hawaiian shirts. You know what another word for this photo is? #WINNING

2. The Catty Couple: Now, we love cats just as much as the next cat-lover. But, we’re not sure that you should be dressing your dog as a cat if you don’t have one. Just accept your dog for who she is! The weird chef-like Santa hats, Meowy Christmas fitted tee and large-necked Christmas cat sweater really take this look to the next level.

3. The Two-Person Sweater and Santa Hat of Your Dreams: What in the what? When Misty found the two-person Santa hat you see here at our local thrift shop, only one thing could happen next: a DIY two-person Christmas sweater. Seriously. She made this thing in 40 minutes, using a blanket, sheet and whatever Christmas decor she could find. Amazing.

4. The Dogpile: Posing with your roomies or sisters? Get weird and stack yourself up. In matching Christmas sweater PJ pants, of course.

5. Santa Claus and Naughty Elf: It’s just.. uncomfortable. Santa should never be viewed as a dude you might meet at a bar, and an elf is supposed to just be an elf. Leave the sass at home. Not even Turkey Temple is down with this scene.

6. Pretend Tropical Vacation: Stop bragging! No one wants to see your vacation photos when they are freezing in their poorly insulated apartment and listening to “Silver Bells” on repeat. What people DO want to see is you and your girls awkwardly trying to relive spring break in the form of a photo like this.

7. Matching Holiday Vests with No Undershirts: No. Words.

8. The Extremely Serious Sweatered Family: Stoicism, sweaters and candlesticks have never looked better. And also, can I just tell you that I never knew sweaters could have such a deep V as the one I’m rocking. Yowza.

9. The LIFT: Want surefire awkwardness? Go for a lift.


10. Let’s Pretend We Smoke: I know, let’s use these candlesticks as faux cigarettes and act like we’re chilling under the bleachers. Guess what makes this weirder? Kids and grandparents. Find them, and recreate this magic.

11. Couples Who Pick Together, Stay Together: That sweater, tho.

12. Nervous Excited Smiles: Nothing goes better with nervous excited smiles than crazy eyes. Make sure you can see the whites all around the eyes for maximum creeps.

13. I’m So Excited, I’m So… Scared: What’s that we said about nervous smiles and crazy eyes? Instant discomfort.

14. Santa’s Lap: Please NEVER take a photo of an adult sitting on Santa’s lap. Not cool.

15. Two Girls, One #BasicBro: It’s complicated?

16. Double Plank + Awkward Third Roommate: When Misty and Maddie decided to do a double plank, all I could really do is kick my leg up. And thus, an awkward family photo is born.

17. Come On Now, EVERYONE Get in the Sweater: And finally, the best possible awkward family photo: EVERYONE in the giant sweater, including Brit + Co resident lady pup, Brie!

Okay okay, Santa and Brie actually look pretty cute. And let’s throw in one more outtake for good measure.

Happy holidays, y’all!

DIY Production + Wardrobe Styling: Misty Spinney

Modeling: Maddie Bachelder, Kurt Andre, Sean Griffis, Anjelika Temple, Misty Spinney

Photography: Chris Andre