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TODAY celebrates Christmas with honest family photos: ‘We fought for this shot’

The TODAY family captured the highs and lows of the holiday season.
TODAY's Dylan Dreyer and Hoda Kotb celebrate the holidays in style — and matching pajamas — with their families.
TODAY's Dylan Dreyer and Hoda Kotb celebrate the holidays in style — and matching pajamas — with their families.Dylan Dreyer / Hoda Kotb / Instagram

Anyone with kids knows that sometimes, things just don’t go the way you planned. Whether it’s attempting to get a photo of the whole family in your matching PJs, or trying (and subsequently failing) to set up that fun new toy your kids got, the holidays can be a struggle.

That rang especially true this year as the TODAY family tried to work some holiday magic on Christmas morning. We saw their adorable family photos on their Christmas cards, but on social media, gave everyone a behind-the-scenes of what really happens during the holidays.

Hoda Kotb and her fiancé Joel Schiffman had a battle with one of their gifts to their daughters Haley Joy, 4, and Hope Catherine, 2. In a photo snapped mid-assembly, Hoda captured Joel appearing defeated as he crawled through the window of a partially constructed cardboard playhouse. In the second photo, Hoda joined him in on the fun, laughing as she laid down in the half-finished structure.

“They said set up was simple.. still laughing xo,” Hoda captioned the candid shots on Instagram.

TODAY meteorologist Al Roker had one big lesson to share with Hoda amid the deceitful directions shared with the toy. He responded to her caption in the comments, simply writing, “They lie.”

Hoda was able to capture a sweet photo with the whole family as they all posed in their coordinating PJs.

Meanwhile, Savannah Guthrie and her husband, Michael Feldman, were faced with the classic challenge of getting their children to pose for a family photo on Christmas morning.

Savannah shared a series of snapshots on Instagram, which show the couple trying to wrangle their two children, Vale, 7, and Charley, 5. Eventually, they got their two children to cooperate for the camera for one shot of the entire family smiling together in their matching Christmas pajamas. 

Savannah fittingly captioned the post, “we fought for this shot #merrychristmas!”

Dylan Dreyer also struggled with capturing the internet’s definition of a “picture perfect” holiday celebration. She shared a series of photos on her Instagram detailing the day, including one main shot of her looking confused (or perhaps disgusted?) while two of her sons, Calvin, 5, and Oliver, 23 months, stood in the midst of their opened gifts.

In her caption, Dylan pondered one question, writing, “Scrolling through Instagram at 4am and dying to know how literally everyone I know managed a full on beautiful family photo.”

“These were the best I could get!” she continued. “I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with those you love!”

Dylan shared a few more snaps from the day, including a photo of Calvin standing with his face pressed against the net of a miniature indoor trampoline, a picture of husband Brian Fichera posing with their infant son Rusty, and one final image of Calvin and Oliver with their family dog, Bosco.

Craig Melvin and his wife, Lindsay Czarniak, captured an adorable snap of the family in their matching pajamas to celebrate the holiday. Craig snapped the selfie while he and Czarniak and their children, Delano, 7 and Sybil, 5, laid down on the floor and smiled for the picture.

Though they captured a seemingly perfect photo, the family of four were relatable for a whole other reason. Craig detailed how they celebrated the holiday this year in the caption and the plans were enviable to say the least.

“We went animal themed this year for no reason at all,” he wrote in the caption. “Merry Christmas to you and yours from the wacky Melvin tribe that didn’t leave the house all day.”

For his Christmas post, Al took a less family-focused approach and a showed off his cooking skills instead.

In the caption, he ran through the whole meal, writing, “For #christmasdinner I made #turkey with #honeythymegravy courtesy of @sohlae #stuffing #macandcheese #broccoli and #cranberrysauce and, of course, #sweetpotatopoon.”

Sheinelle Jones was able to capture the pure joy of a child receiving the gift they were truly excited for on Christmas morning. She shared a sped-up video of her son, Uche. In the quick clip, the 9-year-old leaped in the air and kicked his leg out after opening up his cool gift. 

“Why the excitement? A gum ball machine,” Sheinelle wrote in the caption, revealing her son’s big gift. She continued writing, adding a touching ode to her audience. “Merry Christmas everybody! Thank you for making my Instagram page a kind and peaceful place to connect. ‘You’ are my gift!”

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