It wouldn’t be the holidays without your child’s annual Santa photo. It’s a great Christmas tradition where your children get to spill all their holiday hopes and dreams to good ol’ Saint Nick — that’s if they’re not already bawling their eyes out first. This holiday meet-and-greet can only go two ways: really well or… not well at all. To help bring out the best experience possible, here’s how to prepare your child for their picture with Santa.
DAYS BEFORE THE PHOTOSHOOT:
Get your child excited. From a child’s perspective, Santa can be a pretty scary guy. He’s big, wears a ridiculous outfit and magically knows if you’ve been naughty or nice all year. The best ways to help them get over that fear is to get them excited about meeting the big ol’ jolly man. Watch Christmas movies, read them Christmas stories and tell them all presents Santa gave you as a child. Build the hype so your child can greet the man with confidence.
Scout out Santa days before the photoshoot. Try to go to the mall days before the actual photoshoot and try to get your child to make a small interaction with Santa. Get them to wave to him or say hello from far away. This is a great way to warm them up before the big day.
Go early. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a line-up full of excited, anxious and hyper children for two hours. You also don’t want a grumpy Santa so the earlier you go, the better it will be for everyone involved. Beat the line-up and see Santa earlier in the day when he’s at his jolliest.
Go at a time that’s convenient for your child. Try not to see Santa during your child’s naptime or scheduled snack time. Make sure your child is well fed prior seeing Santa and bring snacks just in case lines are long.
Be prepared to be on camera. Just in case your child gets unexpectedly fussy with Santa or they simply feel more comfortable having you there, always be prepared to be on camera.
Keep it real. No matter how much you try to prepare, your child’s picture with Santa will go the way it goes. It might come out picture perfect or far from it, but that’s okay. Don’t go in with a lot of expectations, just let the photo be an honest and candid keepsake of your child’s visit with Santa. If worse comes to worst, it’ll make the perfect Throwback Thursday in years to come.