1. Pick the coldest possible day of the year to shoot. Because it's not fun unless someone gets frostbite.
2. Beg your handy husband to put those power tools to use and make a giant lighted star as a prop (and - BONUS! finally cross one DIY project off your Pinterest board!)
3. Bribe a child to stand in front of said prop while you set up the tripod and get the camera settings dialed in.
4. Take lots and lots and lots of shots. Expect that most of them will be unusable, because at least one family member will have their eyes shut...
...or it will be completely out of focus....
....or the timer will go off at random intervals when no one is prepared.
5. After at least one family member has shed tears, threatened divorce, or been grounded for the rest of 2013, upload all your photos and send up a quick prayer to the photo gods that at least one will be decent enough to use on your Christmas cards.
6. Have a drink! (And get those cards ordered - it's December 10th, for pete's sake!)