Parenting.com has provided this article including things parents can do to make for a pleasant visit with Santa. Based on my Santa-photo expertise I’d say it’s a darn good list. However, they have missed a few of the “What Not To Dos” so I’ve taken the liberty of spelling them out myself.
What not to do when taking your child to visit Santa:
- Do not ask Santa to put on his hat and coat in a 68 degree shopping mall. He’ll got hot, sweaty, and consequentially stinky. This odor will offend your children and possibly make them cry.
- Do not dress them up in fancy Christmas outfits. Children know that when you force them into sparkly dresses and sweater vests that something unpleasant awaits. Example: church.
- Do not get your hopes up. It is best to approach Santa photos with low expectations. In the off chance that your photo turns out to be a keeper, then you’ve got something to be merry about.
A Day in the Life of an Elf
A slideshow of pics from Macy’s Santaland. It’s cute but this is the 4th year in a for this theme. Step up your game, Macy’s.
To be fair, Macy’s has outdone every Twin Cities suburban shopping mall with this set four years in a row. This includes the set in the Suburb-Which-Shall-Not-Be-Named where I spread my Christmas cheer.
Imagine if you will, a castle-esque structure in a mall atrium. The dominant color was once a festive goldenrod but is now a dingy piss-yellow. The painted images on the walls show Santa’s elves building toys in the workshop (slave labor?). The walkway through the pissy elf sweatshop hosts interactive features such as a trippy holographic video of an elf explaining what life is like for the elves. Other features include telephones through which, at one time, children could talk to the elves. Now, when children put the phones to their ear, they hear the god-awful sound that comes out of your tv when the cable goes out and the screen goes fuzzy. Oh, and there’s also a button that, when pushed, light’s up Rudolph’s red nose. Genius.
So here’s to Macy’s, for having a Santa set that is not a holly-jolly piece of shit, even if it has been unchanged for four years.
It’s true. You’re never too old (or too fat, or too Jewish) to sit on Santa. Santa’s contract with the mall has a nondiscrimination clause.
Many children suffer from Santa-phobia at some point during their young lives. Sure, the concept of a jolly fat man who brings presents seems great and all, but a child’s encounter with St. Nick can be, well, terrifying.
Today, a young boy, probably about 5 years old, was afraid of Santa. Nothing unusual there. However, said boy knew the importance of delivering his wish list to the man in the red suit. On the first go he attempted to shout his list at Santa while maintaining a safe distance. His second strategy was to use his mother as a pawn by pushing her towards Santa thinking she would deliver the list on his behalf. After a brief recess at the play land, he returned for his third and final approach. He dashed across the set, flailing his list in the general direction of Santa and exited the set never to be seen again. Mission accomplished.>
Thanksgiving vs. Christmas
As another Thanksgiving weekend draws to a close, I’d like to share some thoughts about the third Thursday in November. We all know that when it comes to holidays, Christmas trumps Thanksgiving, hands down. If the holidays were a rock concert (an analogy worth exploring further), Thanksgiving would be the opener. The crowd listens and applauds politely but everyone is anxious for Thanksgiving to get its guitars off the stage and make way for the headliner.
Yet there is a lot to be said for Thanksgiving. It is a holiday of great merit. After all, what could be more virtuous than a celebration of that which we are grateful for? Certainly no other holiday can compete with such a noble cause. However, the same cannot be said of the three days that follow. Men in Budweiser t-shirts duke it out at the Wal-Mart jewelry counter, women wait in lines for hours at the local Best Buy in hopes of snatching the latest Xbox for their sons, and retail workers drag their assess out of bed at ungodly hours to sell fleece pullovers for the whole family for only $5 at Old Navy.
Make no exception for Santa and his elves. On a weekend in which shopping malls are crawling with children, there is an over-abundance of wishes to be whispered into Santa’s ear. And you can bet your Christmas cookies that I’ll be there to capture the moment on film (actually, on hard drive) and sell it to you in the form of one 5x7 and two 3x5s at the small cost of $23. No personal checks, please.>
Watch yourselves kids, I saw Santa checking his “Naughty or Nice” list on his iPhone at MoA this morning.
You have been warned.
When to Visit Santa
A list of times when you should visit Santa in order from nicest to naughtiest.
- Weekdays before Thanksgiving. There’s no waiting and Santa is so bored that he’ll chat with your kids about the Vikings or Justin Bieber for twenty minutes.
- Weekday mornings or afternoons after Thanksgiving but before the 15th. You may have to wait up to 15 minutes for a visit with Santa, but this gives the kids time to mentally organize their lists before the big encounter.
- Weeknights after Thanksgiving. Many people think they are going to avoid the crowds by going to visit Santa on a weeknight. This logic just doesn’t work when everyone uses it.
- Weekends. Don’t do it. You will wait a long time. The baby will get fussy. The toddler will throw a fit. The photo most likely won’t be good and there won’t be time to take another.
- Pet Night. Unless you want to wait twice as long as necessary while Chihuahuas and Rat Terriers get their photo taken with Santa.
- Any day, any time within 10 days before Christmas. Shame on you.