We can start crossing off the days on our calendars until we meet again now that the holidays are almost here.
A lovely December filled with celebrations, activities, photo shoots, and online visits with my small friends is something I am looking forward to. You all do, too, I bet!
Holiday activities with Santa are a fantastic opportunity to bond as a family and have some laughs and good times together.
But I know some parents might be worried about how to take great photos with Santa and make this experience of visiting Santa Claus unique and unforgettable for their children.
And I know that nobody is immune to the lure of the holidays. So, your days may get rather busy and frantic since it is difficult to remain indifferent during the magic of the Christmas season.
Making Sure Your Child Has a Great Experience with Santa
So, here are a few tips from Santa to help make this Christmas season truly unforgettable and fun for your little ones.
How to Prepare for a Meeting with Santa
Every picture with Santa has a story behind it. And I have to tell you that some memories make my heart smile. But some make me deeply saddened.
I remember a toddler too excited to sleep the night before their first picture with Santa. The joy in siblings’ eyes as they opened Christmas presents I had delivered the night before. The little girl was overwhelmed because she couldn’t remember the words to a rhyme while her mother kept encouraging her to do so. Some new friends I made at the meet-and-greets with Santa. And a child who cried so much because they didn’t want to sit on my lap that their tears were caught on camera.
So, let’s find ways for each child to enjoy their Santa experience and not make it a bad memory because of our choices.
Help Your Child Feel Comfortable
An encounter with a big hairy man in a funny red costume, whom they have never met before, might be a frightening experience for some children.
No matter how excited you are to get that adorable photo of them sitting on Santa’s lap, remember that, some kids are afraid of Santa.
They may also be confused since most parents teach their children to be wary of strangers just to force them onto Santa’s lap at Christmas!
So, try to see the situation through the eyes of your child. Ask whether they are comfortable sitting on Santa’s lap, next to him, or standing. Of course, if they don’t feel like doing any of the above, that’s perfectly fine too!
Some kids are shyer and more nervous around strangers, even if it’s Santa they’ve been waiting for. So, making your child feel at ease during their visit with Santa might teach them how to be more at ease with adults and strangers in general.
Prepare for Your Photos with Santa Visit
Holiday activities can be chaotic. But, as kids thrive on routine and predictability (which gives them a sense of security and comfort), make sure that your family makes this transition to holiday mode as smoothly as possible.
For example, schedule your visit with Santa on time and bring some surprises to grab your kids’ attention while you wait your turn to take pictures with Santa.
Talk to your children about what they can expect during their visit with Santa. Then, read stories about Santa Claus and write a letter to Santa so they feel like they know him.
This will help them feel reassured and safe, ensuring that we all have a good time during our gathering.
Remember: There are No Bad Children
Please don’t ask your child to tell Santa whether they’ve been naughty or nice. There are no bad kids. They can be tired, confused, or sad.
They may struggle to express their feelings with words, so they throw tantrums instead. Or they might have trouble following the rules, waiting their turn, or staying quiet, but no child is bad.
Help Them Boldly and Confidently Approach Santa
Kids of different ages view and interact with Santa differently. So, plan your visit with Santa according to your child’s age.
For example, avoid taking photos with Santa around nap time or close to bedtime if you have an infant or toddler. Instead, please select a time for your visit when your child is in their best mood to ensure they feel relaxed and comfortable.
Boost your child’s confidence every day and help them approach Santa boldly.
For example, praise your child for well-done chores, a successful school project, or being good at tying their shoes to help them become more independent and self-reliant.
Also, encourage them to express their thoughts and feelings, ask questions, and solve problems while playing.
This can help them feel more self-assured when approaching Santa and other strangers.
Go at Your Child’s Pace
Let your child get used to the idea of meeting Santa before the big day.
This may include looking at their older sibling’s photos with Santa, watching Santa from afar a few days before, singing and dancing to holiday music, or doing some Santa Claus art and craft activities.
Anticipating a visit to Santa as something fun will help your little one enjoys this experience.
Keep in mind that every child is different. Allow your kids to interact with Santa on their own terms. Take it slowly and at a pace that your child is comfortable with. It doesn’t matter how long it takes them to approach Santa. Even if it doesn’t happen, just let it go and do something else fun for Christmas instead.
There’s always next year, and I’m sure we’ll see each other then.