It’s that time of year again. Time to pick out wee outfits and wee shoes and frilly blouses they’ll never wear again and plop them down on some weird guy’s lap so they can whisper in his ear and tell him what they want for Christmas. A truly magical moment. That being said, we always seem to find a way to make this Christmas tradition happen. A lot of times, it ends up a complete gong show, but take a look at the hacks I rocked with my daughter and at the very least, you’ll have done everything humanly possible do to get that perfect picture with Santa Claus.
- Pick a good Santa: Sounds obvious, I know but really, there are some real lousy ones out there, so at the beginning of December, check out your local Saint Nicks and pick the one you like best. Talk to the elves as well, because they’ll be able to offer some insight, maybe some anecdotes too. Watch how he handles a toddler, a baby and an older kid. If you’ve got a guy who can adapt to all three, he’s your elf. Bonus points if he has a real beard.
- Let the kids in on the plan: The day before, let your kids know what’s happening. Just a simple head’s up went a long way in my house. My daughter functioned better when she knew ahead of time what was going on, so we gave her lead-up times to when it was time to get dressed to go. That way she was in on the plan and could easily be pulled from her My Little Ponies, thwarting a possible melt down.
- Naps, lunches and snacks are key: The day of, make sure everyone who’s still napping, naps and meals/snacks are planned and executed well. Hunger and tiredness are the leading causes of temper tantrums. Don’t leave anything to chance. I know it sounds like a military operation, but really I’m trying to set you up for Santa success here, so just go with it.
- Bring Santa a snack: Just a cookie or two will do, something your kid can share with that really big old guy in red. We’d brought Arrowroot cookies with us, and it turned out Santa liked those too. But he said to me that they weren’t as good as mine. I agreed.
- Get in on the picture: I sat down next to Mr. Claus that year and shared a cookie, while my daughter sat on my other side. Very stealthily, I got up and she moved over to share her cookie with the jolly old elf. Here are the resulting pictures:
Really?! This could have gone twelve shades of toddler-melt-down crazy. Rocking the Mommy Arsenal, you too can get through the Santa-picture-taking ordeal, because you’re a rock star mom and you’re awesome.
What’s more, Santa knows it.
What would you add to this list? Better yet, what would you add to the Mommy Arsenal? Orajel? Toys? Rock that comments section below!