Most everyone that has a child -or two,or three- knows that the Santa pictures get a bit more stressful as the years go by. Working in a children's photography studio for many years gave me enough experience to know that having 3 babies in a portrait at one time could be crazy in itself. I also worked at Excalibur for a couple years at the Santa booth and learned enough to feel very sorry for all picture Santa's as early as the second week of December. These poor guys who are just trying to spread some cheer get kids who scream in their ears, kids who kick them, they get puked on, and then parents want to do it again because they have totally unrealistic expectations.
Last year we tried our Santa pictures out in late November. We went in with low expectations (just decided to do it at the last minute) and came out thrilled. All the kids were looking at the camera and no one freaked out!
This year the idea of Santa pictures has been teetering on the edge of my mind. I could tell that Luke was not too thrilled with the Easter bunny this past spring and am a bit concerned about all three of them for our Santa picture. I figured we will go slow and just not expect much again, with the hopes of all turning out okay.
Yesterday Don and I took the boys to a craft show out here at one of the convention centers. There was no parking close by, so he dropped me and the kids off so we wouldn't have to push the stroller down the steep hill of the top parking lot. I waited until he drove off to cross the street. As I took a step forward, I looked both ways and saw a snowy white bearded man in a pick up truck giving the boys a thumbs up. It caught me a bit off guard and I smiled and thanked him. He then mentioned that he would be at one of our malls (as Santa) beginning mid-November and that I should bring the trio in to see him. Whoa! I joked a bit with him to be sure he knew he was inviting three 18 month old boys to sit on his lap, at the same time. The Santa-man then told me definitely bring the boys by, the earlier the better, and that he would be looking forward to seeing us there.
What a relief I felt! I have been stressing out a tiny bit about the pictures this year. I've even wondered if we'd just have to do the boys separate, in order to spare a Santa-man the agony of three screaming babies trying like mad to get off this big hairy mans lap. And here this nice Santa-man is, inviting us to try him out.
So if anyone in Las Vegas wants to know which Santa-man to see this year, the Meadows Mall Santa is on our nice list this year.
As a disclaimer I just have to add that my favorite Santa picture EVER is one where there are 3 screaming babies on Santa's lap. You'll have to scroll a bit, but you can see it here.