Getting in the frame for holiday photos isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Enter the intervalometer. I have been using this function on my Nikon cameras since I moved to Nikon in 2011. It is how I set up for self portraits, family holiday photos, and tree decorating and Christmas morning photos. Many Sony and Canon cameras also offer this function. You will want to research your specific camera model if you shoot one of those brands. One thing that I particularly love about Nikon is that the auto focus engages for every photo. So if you have a wide AF mode set, you will nearly always get something in focus.
An intervalometer (or often just interval shooting), it is similar to the self timer function. However, it allows you to specify a number of images to be shot. You can also specify a specific time sequence, or interval, between each image. You can set it for every 3 seconds, 30 seconds, or several minutes, depending on what you need. Incidentally, this can also be used for astrophotography, so that you aren’t touching your camera for each image, but that is beyond the scope of this post. Check out a great post on astrophotography here!