After our fiasco with meeting Santa last year (you can read about it here), I was determined to have a better Santa experience and photo this year. As a result of my determination, I may have gone a little overboard with the whole meeting Santa thing *ahem*.
As a preface, in our family Santa is just for fun. Our kids don't "believe" in Santa because we've always told them that he's just a fun character. They know the gifts they receive from "Santa" on Christmas are really from us. They also know that there are kids their age who do believe in Santa and whose parents tell them very different things about Santa than what we have chosen to tell them, so we don't talk about how Santa "isn't real" in public.
Even though my kids know he's just for fun, they still like to meet him and interact with him. I, of course, like to have Santa photos :-). Our first Santa meeting this year was in the middle of November at Dickens on the Boulevard. This Santa experience wasn't the best because there was a long line of folks waiting to see him, and we were herded in and out rather quickly. Santa didn't even ask what the kids wanted for Christmas or anything! And, while waiting in line, the kids were told they'd be given a candy cane after seeing Santa. When that didn't happen, I had some disappointed kiddos (namely the toddlers) on my hands! I also don't really love this photo . . . does Santa look strained?!? I will say though, I was happy the little girls didn't melt down upon seeing the Big Guy!
Our second Santa interaction was at Pleasant Valley Farms. This Santa was on point! He had a perfect laugh and ho-ho-ho. Each child had an opportunity to sit on his lap and talk to him. The twins both said they didn't know what they want for Christmas, even though he tried hard to get them to say something specific.
Brenson also said he wasn't sure yet what he wanted, but Brianna asked for an Elf on the Shelf. He also encouraged all the kids to write him a letter when they decided what he should bring them!
One more plus about this Santa is that he looks jolly in these pictures, AND the room was big enough for us all to gather around him without him looking like a floating head, haha. I've already framed this picture and hung it on our tree!
Our third Santa meeting was at school. This is where the ordeal with Santa happened last year, but I decided to give it another chance. The set up was just so cute I couldn't resist! Santa was at the school on a Tuesday, so we headed up there to see him after Bren's guitar lesson. He was a pretty good Santa . . . he certainly looked the part, and he spoke to each of the kids about what they want for Christmas. All of their answers were the same as before, except that Bren said he wanted Magformers (spoiler alert: He'll be happy!). However, I don't love this photo because you can barely see Santa. On the other hand, it makes me laugh that Santa is buried behind all my kids!
I had asked the girls before our first Santa meeting if they remembered meeting Santa last year. They both said yes and talked about how they cried because he was "creepy". I asked them what made him creepy, and Brecklyn immediately said, "Hims eye brows were brown and hims beard had brown. That's not how Santa is." Hahaha! She's not wrong! I think it helped this year that the Santas looked a lot more legit! Crying Santa photos are super adorable to me, but it was nice this year to see Santa without the drama :-).