Tis’ the season to be jolly, but don’t be surprised if your little one is anything but when you put him or her on top of Santa’s lap. If your child is screaming his head off when you try to get a picture of him and ole’ Saint Nick, don’t be surprised. It’s not uncommon and many kids dread the annual trip to the mall to get a photo with Santa. Getting your child to smile with Santa’s is going to take some planning ahead, but once you get the perfect shot you’ll know that all the preparation was worth it. Plus, a yearly photo of the kids with the red suited holiday icon is more than just a Christmas tradition; it’s a document of your child’s growth. So of course, we want the photos to include all smiles.
Image via Party Characters
Here are our tips and guidelines to follow for getting your child to smile with Santa:
Talk About it
Talk about “Santa” all November long. Get your little ones excited about seeing Santa Claus this year by starting all the talk about him in November. You can share photos of the kids last year with Santa and mention that this year, “big boys and girls” sit on Santa’s lap and get their pictures taken. After all the conversation and when the big day is finally here, your little ones will be grinning from ear to ear to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him all of their Christmas wishes.
Stick to the Christmas Traditions:
You may want to stick to the Christmas traditions when attempting to get your children to smile on Santa’s lap. Remind the kids about Santa’s naughty and nice list. Also remind them that even though they wrote Santa a letter with the presents they want this year, he especially likes it if you tell him in person. “We have to tell Santa what we want this year or we may not get it.”
Find a “Good” Santa Claus
Yes, we all know the good ones from the not so good ones. A good Santa Claus will not only be bright and cheery and let out a good “ho, ho, ho,” but he will also talk to your child making him or her feel more comfortable. It may not be easy to find a ‘good’ Claus but the smiling photo will surely be worth your effort.
Make sure that you dress your child in something comfortable. There’s no way that you’re going to get a good photo of your sweet little one if his outfit is bothering him.
You know your kids better than anyone else does. Make sure that your trip to visit Santa doesn’t intersect with naptime or feeding time or any other time when your little one may be a little fussy.
Santa should be brighter and less tired the earlier you go to the “photo workshop.” The lines will also be shorter, which means less waiting for you and less time for your little one to think about “loosing it.”
Break the ice
If your kids have a case of the butterflies about meeting Santa, it’s a great idea to just break the ice the day of the picture taking. Walk your child around the workshop a couple times and let him/her watch other kids get their photos taken with Santa. Once it gets closer to your child’s turn, help initiate the conversation between your little one and Mr. Kringle by having him or her tell Santa about what kind of cookies you will be putting out for him on Christmas Eve. Santa will admire the cuteness and will make an extra effort to get you a good christmas photo.
“Look at me!”
The best way to get your little one to look into the camera is to set him or her in Santa’s lap and then hold his or her gaze while walking backward towards the camera lens until you are standing behind it. Your child’s gaze will be right into the camera making for the perfect photograph. Once you’ve made it behind the camera you can also try out you’re best snapping, clapping and funny faces to make your little one grin. On the other hand, your child may be too mesmerized by Santa’s big white beard. Oh well, that will make for an even cuter photo.
Now that you’ve got all these tips up your sleeves use them to avoid a mall meltdown and get the perfect photo of your children with Santa this year. Happy picture taking.