Christmas is just around the corner, which means it’s time for the dreaded yearly Santa photos.
If you are a sucker like me and can’t help but add to your annual collection of awful pictures of the kids with Santa each year, then this is just for you!
Hopefully, this year, you will get a picture that you can frame, post and happily give to friends and family without worrying about people assuming that Santa is torturing your children. Because, nothing says Merry Christmas quite like a picture of your kids screaming bloody murder, trying to escape the dark clutches of Mr Claus!
The easiest way to avoid a Santa meltdown is to prepare them. Show them books with Santa in it, talk to them about sitting on Santa’s knee and get them comfortable about the photo. I made the mistake of blindsiding my two kids last year and it didn’t end well!
I’m a big fan of the bribe (mainly because if the kids get a milkshake for being good in the shops, then so do I!). Make a plan to visit Santa, smile pretty and then go for ice cream afterwards. The kids may be more willing to get the photo done and dusted and you can offer them a treat after.
Choose the Right Time
You know your kids better than anyone else so choose a time in the day when they are happy and full of energy. Hungry, tired children are never the best to capture. Aim to visit Santa before running the errands so the kids don’t get antsy.
Wear Something Pretty
Because there is a pretty good chance you will be jumping into the photo with the kids! Last Christmas, our Santa photo was a complete disaster, not because the kids are crying but because Mum is on the side wearing her daggy breast-milk-stained t-shirt and tracky dacks.
Santa seems to visit the shops earlier and earlier each year and you may run into him every time you do the weekly shop. If your kids are a little hesitant to get this close to Santa, then start asking them now if they would like to get their picture taken. It may take three or even five weeks of ‘no’ before they feel comfortable enough to actually have the photo done. In the meantime, make an effort to stop at the booth, say Hello to Santa and let your kids watch the other kids sit on Santa’s knee.
Stage Your Own
If all else fails and the kids don’t want to have a bar of Santa, then you can always hire a Santa costume and set up your own photo shoot in the lounge room. Sure, it won’t come with the artificial looking Christmas decorations, the static Santa and the bright lighting, but hopefully it also won’t involve a picture filled with tantrums and tears.
Another way to get the perfect Christmas card image is to skip out of the Santa photo drama completely. There are plenty of templates, stock backgrounds and apps that allow you to take your photos and transform them. Add a wintery background, photoshop Santa into the background or add a beautiful border of holly to dress up the picture without risking the meltdown.
Photos courtesy of Donella Taylor and Kasey Tulk. Special thanks to Lachlan Taylor and Jake Tulk for hating Santa so much and providing these hilarious pictures!