It’s a holiday tradition for some to get a photo with Santa each year. We checked with Santa and have a few tips to help make it a great one!
1. Plan… and plan some more
Santa is a popular guy during the holidays so try to plan visiting him outside of his peak visiting hours. Weekdays or earlier in the day tend to be less busy. It may be wise to bring some activities to keep the kids happy while in line and give yourselves plenty of time for any unexpected delays.
2. Schedule around schedules
Everyone has their own routine and if you can, make sure you schedule for the best time of the day for your little one to be social. Some kiddos are morning people and others are best in the afternoon. Of course, you probably want to avoid nap time or meal times in order to get happy smiles!
3. Introduce Mr. Claus
If your child is a little apprehensive about Santa, talk to them while waiting in line and watching others sit on his lap. You may want to chat with Santa a bit before asking them to sit on his lap so they start to feel more comfortable. If possible, slide Santa some info like your child’s name and something they like so he can talk to them easily.
4. Say Cheese!
For some, it works for the parents to stay right in front of the child to get an optimal smile. For others, you may want to bring a favorite toy or something new to entice them to look up at the camera. Or is there a magic word that makes them light up? Now is the time to pull out all the stops.
5. Come to Santa Claus, Indiana
Make it an extra special event and visit Santa in America’s Christmas Hometown, Santa Claus, Indiana! You can find the jolly man in the red suit at the Santa Claus Christmas Store. His house is nestled in the back with a camera ready to capture the moment and show your child’s photo on the big TV screen!
BONUS TIP: If your little one is super nervous around the big guy, Santa is not opposed to helping you be sneaky. He says it may work better NOT to show them what Santa looks like but to hand them over keeping their focus on you for a quick photo before they realize who is holding them. He has a lot of tricks up those red sleeves.
Originally published November 6, 2014