It's that time of the year! Fall is slowly waving "goodbye," and winter is knocking on your door, which can only mean one thing:
Christmas is coming!
I honestly just flipped out a little. Okay, maybe a lot. You see, where I live, "Christmas" means winter, snow, more snow, cold temperatures, blizzard conditions, freezing winds, kids cooped up in the house all day asking when the snow will leave...and for some of you...pictures with 'Ole St. Nic himself. For your kids, of course.
It's an experience that you don't necessarily look forward to, but you do it because it's the "thing" to do, right? Documenting precious memories of your child on Santa's lap can be a rewarding experience...for you...maybe just not for your child. Let's see those hands raised for those of you who have had a scene-from-a-nightmare experience taking your child to have a photo taken with Santa? Yep, you know the times I'm referring to. Conjures up some serious memories, doesn't it? The snotty nose, tears streaming down the face red with fright and nerves. But can we honestly blame kids for reacting the way the majority do to Santa? I personally can't, and because you will probably brave the lines at the mall, the trade shows, or wherever you go to get that precious photo, here are some tips from yours truly to try to give you the best possible Santa photo experience.
1. Carry Supplies. #1 rule of parenting, a hungry child is a miserable child. Bring snacks, and water for your child to eat while waiting in line. Small toys help bring a sense of distraction and focus to a child as well.
2. Do a Dry Run. Take the child to the mall beforehand and catch a glimpse of that strange man with the white beard and red suit prior to your appointed day. This will give your child the opportunity to study him and watch how he acts with other little ones.
3. No Scary Word Pictures. Instead of reassuring your child that Santa won't hurt him or her, be positive about the experience and don't focus on any negatives. Your child will pick up your nervous energy if you allow it to be felt. Think happy thoughts!
4. Bring Your Child's Favorite Stuffed Animal or Blanket. Children receive comfort not only from us, their parents, but from these inanimate objects, too. Giving your child his/her favorite source of comfort during photos with Santa is sure to be a win!
5. Let Little Ones Walk Up On Their Own. Instead of throwing your child into Santa's lap and then seemingly disappearing behind the lights, allow your child the opportunity to walk up on his/her own. Maybe even allow your child to take something to Santa, like a pen, a candy, etc.