Want to get great holiday shots of your kids? Skip the starched collars and tight ties and use these helpful tips to help you save your sanity and capture the moment.

Be flexible: This the biggest rule when it comes to holiday photos with kids. Sure, you may know in your heart that your child will look adorable in a certain pose wearing a certain outfit, but as a parent, you should know by now that anything (and I do mean anything) can keep that dream from becoming a reality. It's good to have goals, but when push comes to shove, you need to relax to get the best pictures.

Be prepared: I don't need to tell you that kids and clothes are an unpredictable pair, so it's best to have a number of outfits available for the best shots. For babies, particularly those prone to spitting up, consider purchasing a selection of pretty lace or holiday bibs to go over the outfit. It will expand your child's wardrobe choices and minimize the number of times you have to change her clothes.

Think ahead: If possible, choose holiday outfits that don't have collars or long sleeves. Avoiding these stain magnets will go a long way to preserving your child's outfit, and your sanity!

crying kid with santa Sometimes the photos you don't want to happen are the ones that make the rounds the most. (Photo: kelp/flickr)

Alter your expectations: The traditional holiday picture has all eyes facing the camera and all faces a gleam in delightful smiles. These pictures are great, but they're not the only way to capture your children in holiday splendor. Consider candid shots of your infant playing with an ornament or a wrapped present, or your kids concentrating on a fun holiday task like baking, wrapping presents or singing holiday carols.

Go for quantity to get quality: If you want to get a good shot of your kids this holiday season, the best (and most obvious) tip to follow is to take lots and lots of pictures. The beauty of digital cameras is that you can go crazy with the shots and not worry about the cost of film or developing. So go ahead — charge up your batteries and whip out your camera. You're bound to get a great shot of the kids, even if it's not the posed studio shot you had in mind.

How to take great holiday photos of your kids
Capture the kids in all their holiday splendor with these sanity-saving tips.