I Must Confess…real santa photos

The good old santa photo. The source of so much angst and waiting. I think most of us have been there, either as a child sitting on santa’s knee after an hour in line or as a parent, desperately hoping against hope that the kids will smile and stay put once they are in the presence of the great man.

Next weekend we are booked in to have our annual santa photo taken. We’ve been lucky enough to have been given an early slot with the lovely Santa at our local Westfield as part of their Sensitive Santa for Children with Disabilities initiative. I’m looking forward to not having to wait as long for a photo and getting in and out of the shopping centre long before most of the serious shoppers arrive for the day.

In the past we have done our time waiting. We have also had to be in some of the annual photos in order for our effort to be worth it (i.e. to placate scared and unhappy children!) And we have had photos where none of us are looking our best or entirely pleased to be there…

Here’s our last photo from 2012 where we all had to be in it but this time we are at least looking reasonably happy to be there (except for Delilah!)

Santa photo 2012

It’s interesting that despite everything, year after year most of us still make the decision to brave the crowds, put the kids’ in their Sunday best and hope that this year will yield a great christmas photo.

Is it all about the chance to get a record of how the kids look year by year? The opportunity for a reasonable priced professional photo? Or to keep the magic of christmas alive?

I must confess, for us, it’s a little bit of everything. It’s great to have a record of how the kids grow and change every year (except for 2006 when we were quarantined at home with chicken pox and for 2013 where we just didn’t get our act together in time!) but for us it’s definitely more about keeping the magic of christmas alive. That’s why we’ve persisted most years and why we’re heading back again on Sunday.

So, do you “do” santa photos? Or do you have stories and/or photos to share as a child? Go on, be brave and share with the I Must Confess community!

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I Must Confess

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Next week’s prompt – let’s talk swimmers. Do you embrace the summer look or do you hide everything when at the beach or pool?


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37 Responses

  1. ann says:

    What an awesome idea the sensitive Santa is. Good luck, can’t wait to see the end result.
    For me too it is about all the things you mentioned, the record of growth and getting into the festive spirit!!
    ann recently posted..Santa Photo 2014

    • Kirsty says:

      Sensitive santa is a great idea – that’s partly why we didn’t get a photo last year, I didn’t get word on availability until it was too late. I will definitely share the end result!

  2. Zita says:

    Great pic! I love that Sensitive Santa idea! Fantastic!
    Zita recently posted..for a Santa pic.

    • Kirsty says:

      It’s a great idea. The Santa is lovely and patient and kind and the kids are far happier when they see him since they haven’t been waiting for hours on end. It really is a great initiative x

  3. Lydia C. Lee says:

    I have the most hilarious one of me with a ’70’s santa who looked like he was just out of Studio 54…so weird, just didn’t have time to try and find it.
    Lydia C. Lee recently posted..Think of all the ladies on the Titanic that waved away dessert.

  4. Tegan says:

    One of the local photographers is doing a sensitive Santa this year and I think it’s such a great idea!
    I’m hoping that this year will be the year that I don’t have to sit with Santa too. Although unlike previous years I’ll be prepared this time by being in a decent outfit. We had two photos last year and take two which was spur of the moment was definitely better.
    Tegan recently posted..No more Santa photos for me

    • Kirsty says:

      I’ll be prepared too Tegan! I will have to find one from a few years back when we were woefully unprepared and it was obvious we had just walked in because there was no line!!!

  5. It is just bloody perfect because it’s not fake, perfect or put on! I have lots of fake Santa photos but I might follow your lead this year – LOVE IT! xx
    Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me recently posted..An open letter to lazy speakers – Laugh Link!

  6. I’d never heard of the sensitive Santa program, but what a fabulous idea! If you want to have a giggle at my kids in Santa photos from days gone by, here’s the link: http://www.middleagedmama.com.au/a-series-of-santa-photos/ 🙂
    Janet @ Middle Aged Mama recently posted..Confessions of a Closet Greenie

    • Kirsty says:

      Sensitive Santa is wonderful, particularly for those families who would normally miss out because it’s all too hard. I will definitely check out your link – thanks for sharing Janet!

  7. Deborah says:

    My brother and SIL used to get a Santa photo taken of my niece (not the whole family) each year and they’d usually send it out with / as a Christmas card to family members. It was quite good as we got a collection.

    PS. I like the sensitive Santa program idea!
    Deborah recently posted..Cruel & unusual punishment: visiting the dentist

  8. My girls are now 13, 14 & 16 and we did photos each year, without issue or incident why they even colour co-ordinated their outfits but the last two years, my girls have refused. The first year, we just took photos of the girls on our way out to dinner, so I still had something to send to the grandparents but last year, I didn’t even get that. I’m sadly giving up.
    Raych aka Mystery Case recently posted..The WAR on shorts and my short comings…..

  9. We did our first Santa photo last year. Hayley was only 4 months old and threw up on Santa! He was keen to get it over and done with and she certainly wasn’t very happy. I think this year it’ll have to be a week timed mission for it to work too because she gets bored very easily and I’m paranoid she’ll be scared of him so I can see I may have to get into the photo.

    Sensitive Santa sounds like an awesome idea!
    Toni @ Finding Myself Young recently posted..When the plague takes over

    • Kirsty says:

      Oh no – poor Hayley! I hope you get a better photo this year – timing it well can be hard but if you get it right, it will definitely pay off. Good luck with it Toni!

  10. I have a photo of me as a child bawling my eyes out sitting on santa’s knee, followed by a very pouty photo all because I recognised Santa! It was one of my best friends Dad’s. Must have been devastating for me at the time but hilarious now. I’m undecided if we will brave the photo this year, I have a feeling that while Miss 2 is excited she wont want to go anywhere near him.
    Malinda @mybrownpaperpackages recently posted..Kirsten & Co

    • Kirsty says:

      Yes, it can be hard to know whether to try or not. Often they’re excited at the thought of Santa but the reality of the big man is not so good. That’s funny about your own santa photo although it would have been a complete tragedy at the time!

  11. I’m loving this Wesfield initiative. It is so exciting. Such a simple thing for children, because such a horrible stressful time for families with special needs. So many of my friends have been raving about it. I’ve never been photographed with Santa, and find it weird that others do it. My children have therefore never done it, much to my MIL disappointment. It was something that she was looking forward to apparently. Though I have told her that she is more than welcome to take the kids herself if she does want it. Guess it wasn’t so important after all!!
    Sarah from Creating Contentment recently posted..minimalist Christmas

    • Kirsty says:

      The sensitive santa has been a godsend for us for a few years now. Just being able to book a time outside of the busy crowds of the silly season makes such a difference. Who knows – maybe your MIL will surprise you one day 😉

  12. Hugzilla says:

    Yep, we do Santa photos every year with my two, who are 2 and 4 this year. Every year one of them cracks the sads and starts crying so my husband and I alternate years of sitting on Santa’s knee. FIngers crossed next year we can finally get one just of the kids with the big fella (especially because it’s my turn again next year!). I LOVE the idea of the Sensitive Santa though – it’s great they are being proactive about providing the experience for all children.
    Hugzilla recently posted..The Hugzilla Award: The 2014 SanctiMummy of the Year

    • Kirsty says:

      At least you alternate each year. We’re such cheapskates that we’ve almost come to treat it like a cheapo family portrait!

  13. Hi Kirsty
    I love this post of yours, we attempt a Santa photo each year and so far each year for about the last 5 Zadada and I have starred a role in it too. I’m a bit of a ‘little bit of everything’ kind of person, when it comes to the reasoning behind it. I’ve booked us in for a few weeks time up at our nearest Myer Santa Land, looking forward to the fact that we won’t have to queue as long this year. I’ve shared last years attempt at a Santa photo. I’m guessing it will be another family portrait this year as I don’t like my chances of getting a certain little 3-year-old to participate without some parental support, we’ll see?
    Have a great week. 🙂

    • Kirsty says:

      I loved your photo – it was a lovely one with your family. I’m thinking we’ll be in this year’s one as well – our 4 year old is still a little clingy when it comes to santa and photos. At least I’ll be prepared and be photo ready!!!

  14. Yes, we definitely do Santa Photos every year and I agree, it’s a great opportunity for a nice photo and a chance to see the kids grow up. Elliott’s first santa photo was the day after we brought him home from hospital, he was a week old and I just love looking back on it. The Santa Claus was so scared to hold him because he was such a tiny baby!
    Eva @ The Multitasking Mummy recently posted..My New Best Friend: The Nescafe Dolce Gusto Circolo

  15. Kirsty says:

    Oh that would be a precious memory Eva. Matilda’s first photo was when she was about 6 weeks old and she was tiny too. It is an amazing record of how kids grow, isn’t it?

  16. Alicia says:

    I must be one of the christmas photo scrooges. I don’t go rushing to get a photo with Santa every year, just don’t see it as a priority. I did take the girls in last year for a look, but they were not keen at all, so I wasn’t keen to push it! I do remember my neighbours mum went with her last year, and was disgusted that she pushed through with kids that were scared/screaming just to get the photo. That would not be me! 🙂
    Alicia recently posted..Where the ferk is the paint place owl?

  17. Rae Hilhorst says:

    Brings back a lot of memories, I can’t remember when we stopped Santa photos

  18. Hahaa I’ve been just thinking about braving the crowds with my 5 month old to get her first Santa pic. Was wondering how easy/hard it would be to get that good pic…

  19. I love that you are in the photo with your kids! Great family moment. How wonderful is it that there is a sensitive santa program? I’m very impressed and so happy for you and your kids that they can still have this experience.

  20. Lisa Wood says:

    We used to do Santa every year but this year we are not sure if we will…..our two oldest have grown up and moved out of home so they won’t be in the picture.
    And our other three are 15, 12, and 9 and they all don’t want to be sitting with Santa to get a photo taken, so I think this will be our first year with no Santa.
    Its good that you will be able to have the photo taken before the shoppers are allowed in 🙂
    Lisa Wood recently posted..Surfrider Caravan Park

  21. That’s a really lovely photo! At least everyone is smiling. I usually try to avoid shopping centres at this time of year, but we have done a Santa photo for the past 3 (I think!) and it really is a great record of the kids’ development. I don’t put them in their best clothes though, I let them wear whatever they like. May as well remember them as they really were at that point in their lives!
    Lara @ This Charming Mum recently posted..Spat on by Schoolies at Surfers

  22. Robyn says:

    I think we’re a bit of everything too. Last year was the first year where we had a lovely photo without someone having a meltdown. It was usually my middle daughter because until recently she’s always been scared of Santa. I’m looking forward it this year x
    Robyn recently posted..The importance of reading to your child. A guest post by Jennifer Birch

  23. Natalie says:

    I love your photo, so natural looking, and love the idea of Sensitive Santa- I must pass on this info to other friends.
    We have an annual tradition where I let the kids have a day off school (usually a Friday) and in the morning we go to a smaller shopping centre where there are no queues at all- the photographer lets us take our time and I am allowed to be a little fussy 😉 But ultimately I think the photo should also capture the personalities of the subjects- my middle child is notorious for always sitting a little away from the rest of the family, and this year was no exception- she sat on Santa’s knee but moved slightly away from him as if to say “hey, I like my personal space thanks!”.
    Natalie recently posted..Are Our Kids Too Busy?

  1. December 2, 2014

    […] week I shared one of our previous santa photos in anticipation of this year’s shoot. When it’s santa photo time I know things are […]

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