I have been pumping up Santa Clause to Annie for weeks. I didn’t want another Easter Bunny experience. “Santa is so great!” “He brings you presents!” “He’s nice, like a Bampa!” Every morning since Thanksgiving I’ve said, “Annie, soon we’re going to see Santa! Santa says ‘ho ho ho,’ I can’t wait to see Santa OH BOY!” My whole Get Annie Excited About Santa Plan™ was to make seeing Santa sound Really! Freaking! Awesome! It started to work because over the weekend Annie would see a picture or figurine or Santa and said, “Tanta! Oh oh oh!”
Yesterday I said, “Annie, do you want to go see Santa today?” My whole idea was to do a walk-by. We’d go to the mall, watch some of the other kids get their pictures taken with the bearded guy, then go home. Super easy no-pressure situation. But, I’d done a little too good a job getting Annie excited because she said, “TANTA! OH BOY!” Then ran into her room. When I followed her I discovered her in her closet saying, “Dress! Shoes!” The other part of my Get Annie Excited About Santa Plan™ was showing her the dress and shoes I’d picked out for her to wear. I knew that getting her excited about the clothes would work.
Since she was saying oh boy and jumping around and all of that, I decided to veer from the Get Annie Excited About Santa Plan™ and take her to get her picture taken ahead of schedule. I got her all dressed and put her in the car. On the drive over, she was alternating between singing and saying, “Annie! Tanta!” She was ready to go.
She was running through the mall, cheering “yaaaay” and “oh boy” and basically acting like she’d just ingested 187 pounds of sugar. Then we took her on the escalator.
I wish you could hear the noise she was making when I took that picture. It was the most excited squeal I have ever heard.
Then we got to Santa’s lair, which looked exactly the same as last year. There was a baby boy taking his picture with Santa. It was perfect – a baby AND Santa. I was pretty sure Annie was going to lose her mind because she is currently obsessed with all things baby. Mike picked her up so she could see:
Then he put her down so we could walk through Santa’s wonderland…
…she wasn’t into it. So we walked away for a little while. We didn’t want her to freak out or be scared of Santa. But after we were gone for a few minutes, Annie started saying, “Tanta? Where’d Tanta go?” We asked her if she wanted to go back and see Santa, and she said yes. So, back we went.
We walked through Santa’s wonderland and rounded the corner next to Santa. When she saw Santa she pulled away from Mike and reached for me. I was extremely pleased with this development. She and I stood there while Santa and I made small talk. Then he and I shook hands and hugged. Annie seemed chill, so I tried to put her down next to him.
And yeah, she didn’t want that. SOOOOOOO. This happened:
Ho ho ho.
katrina @ They All Call Me Mom says:
What a cute picture!! Such a sweet memory! She looks so pretty in her dress
Too funny! I bet she will love him next year.
Oh, my goodness, Heather, this is such, such, such an awesome picture. I lover her expression – you’re both going to get such a kick out of it when she’s older!!
Well….at least one of you were smiling! Maybe next yr she’ll sit on his lap? If not then you’ll always have that amazing picture of both of you! PERFECT!!!!!
Did you think that just maybe you were going to have to be in the picture? I’m only asking because your red and white top matches. If not, wearing that shirt was a lucky break. This is a sweet picture and one that you will love more and more each year. You will get your Smiling Annie With Santa picture…either next year or the year after that. My 3 year old this year was excited, but kind of choked at the last minute, but my older daughter LOVED the experience.
ha, no, lucky break. If I’d known I was going to be in the picture, I would have brushed my hair!
hahah, oh Annie.
Lynn from For Love or Funny says:
That photo of Annie sliding off Santa’s chair is PRICELESS!!!
I have a picture of my daughter just like that one. I remember the photographer saying in a rather snotty tone “surely you don’t want this picture”
My reply was “surely I do, thank you”
To this day it is one of my favorites and still makes me laugh.
We have a photo album of Santa pictures dating back to my mom and uncles. It has all the pictures taken with Santa from their childhood and also includes the pictures of me and my brother. We’ve added my daughter and nephew.
There is at least one picture of every single one of us at about this age screaming on Santa’s lap. My husband was so pissed and H.A.T.E.S. this picture of our daughter. Twisted as it may be, it’s tradition. She doesn’t remember and laughs when she sees it. Especially when she can go back and see grandma and great uncles and uncle and mommy doing the exact same thing.
we made an impromptu Santa stop when my kids were like 3 months, 3 years and 4 years. The girls had dressed themselves that day. We are talking striped leggings with mismatched shirts…scary scary outfits. Santa held the 3 month old…but the girls were NOT going to sit on that guy’s lap…no way. So I have a picture of the girls standing on either side of him in their totally mismatched clothes, and Zach hanging in Santa’s arms. The girls look ready to bolt. I think all kids are scared of him.
I once took a group of 5 of my daycare kids to see Santa, and only 1 would have her picture made…the others clung to us and refused to get near the man! Poor Santa. For all the hype, he is pretty abused.
Well; you sure did give it your all, Heather, and I love the picture that you did get!!! It’s absolutely beautiful!
Annie is sooo cute and her Christmas picture with Santa is hilarious.
I like Santa’s stoicism.
Love it! Hahaha! Trust me, THIS will be the Santa picture you treasure in years to come. We just took our twelfth Santa picture, and the ones that crack everyone up, the ones that I vividly remember every detail of the visit are the ones like yours. One daughter wasn’t cool with him at two and three, the other was one and two. We have one with my youngest trying so hard to be a good sport with a fake smile, puffy face and one last tear dripping down her face. There are some with me in the picture, some with a child leaning towards the camera (near where I was standing) crying……they all make me smile and I wouldn’t take all the money in the world for them.
One suggestion, though…you may have success later this season if you keep casually walking by him in the mall and assuring her that she’s already visited with him. SHE may insist on sitting with him again.
Oh I remember those days when my kids were also afraid of Santa. Just give it another year or two. She looks just gorgeous in her little dress, just wanna squeeze her!
Oh Heather, you look so cute sitting on Santa’s lap!
Annie is such a gem. What a little doll!!
kristen mcd says:
We have a picture like that from Christmas 2005. Only it’s both my SIL and I with our one year olds. Santa’s just… kind of overwhelming.
(Who caught that her shoes were on the wrong feet in the beginning? I was so relieved that they got fixed before the Santa picture. lol)
yeah, that’s what happens when you let a toddler put on her own shoes!
Erin Christine says:
I took a look at last year’s Santa post and it’s just crazy how much Annie has grown. I just love her little outfit, and I hope next year she is more into the visit.:-)
Also, I realized it’s the same Santa from last year!
Yes! It’s the same guy every year. Super cool.
You left out . .WHAT DID SHE SAY AFTER ALL OF THIS??????
HA yeah that was funny. When she was strapped back in the car she said, “Bye Tanta! Byyyyyyyye!”
Next year, I”m sure she’ll LOOOOOVE him next year!
Momma Lioness Michele says:
That photo is PRICELESS. You did all you could to prepare Annie, maybe next Christmas you’ll get a smiling pic of her with Santa – but this one is certainly memorable!
Momma Lioness Michele says:
Also – LOVE her outfit! Gorgeous!
At least she enjoyed the escalator ride…
Good thing Santa has a huge chair! I bet parents have to sit with him all the time. This is adorable and Annie will totally get a kick out of it when she is older!!
Hilarious! I love how Santa looks almost as excited as Annie!
what a great story – the photo is priceless. Also, i love that Mike is wearing flip flops, in December – god bless LA.
Kelley Chambless says:
Your blog is so fun! This is a cute story! Had me cracking up this morning! VERY sweet pic of you and Annie and Santa! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family! Much Love
Jennifer Choate says:
PRICELESS…this is so much better than just her and Santa alone….what a story for when she is grown…my son was TERRIFIED of Santa and the Easter Bunny…He’s 23 and 6’4″ now…we still tease him about it….
best. story. ever!
loving the photo. annie’s face is priceless and your smile is killer-gorgeous! santa is a scary dude and annie is smart not to want to sit on his lap. she’s like, “just bring me my gifts, man. i shouldn’t have to do anything in return”.
Jessica Makuh says:
We had the same problem with our two girls (5 and 3) not liking Santa. Then once day last year I saw a Sitting with Santa scrapbook at Hallmark and bought it. I added the photos of them with Santa Claus through the years and showed it to them. It worked! My oldest, Abby, is so excited about adding another photo to the album that she is more willing to get the photo taken. As long as she is excited, my 3 year old will be. Plus, I love the album, too! You’re so good with photos, I bet you could do something similar.
I love that idea, I totally will do that!
Okay so first question, when you go off the “plan” does your husband give you the face and act like your committing murder? Or is that just my husband? Oh and when it doesn’t work out, should have stuck to the plan really and he is an engineer, surprising no annoying yes. My kids were 14 months apart, my son loved Santa and the Easter bunny from day one. My daughter not and I mean screaming murder someone is killing me not. So I did all the things you did and like Annie she was excited saying his name get within the setting and cry and scream. I tried getting pictures for two years one of her alone first year, one of the two of them second year. Well you know what those pictures look like, It’s not pretty but I wanted one of her and one of the two of them together. Now my mom is old school italian and now my kids are 21 & 20 so she is 80 (sorry mom) and is of the believe put them on santas lap and then will stop. Don’t give into the crying and she will learn to love Santa. I’m not so for every other Santa picture is of my son making him look like an only child. Do I wish I had cute pictures of my kids with Santa, absolutely but to me not worth hearing my daughter hysterical over it. Sorry mom I’m not of the school of make them do something clearly they are uncomfortable with so I can have a picture. Of course this was followed with a lecture how my daughter would be spoiled if I gave into her crying. She is not, I didn’t say I was giving into her everytime she cried but certainly if your trying to make you kid not only meet a stranger in a big red suit, but sit with them when we tell them all the time stay away from strangers. I followed my heart which broke seeing her that upset, gave up my dream of Santa pictures of my two munchkins and don’t regret it. To this day even when she hit her teens and all her friends would say, as they do to be cool, let’s get our pictures with Santa. My daughter has said no to all but one where her friends are all over santa and she is off to the side. Some things are not meant to be and I needed to let go of that wish and turn out my mothers lectures.
Yeah, Mike definitely was like, “um but the plan is to take her NEXT week.” Oh well!
HA! Each of my kids were the exact same way at that age. My son is 7 1/2 and last year was the first year he really was relaxed with Santa. He hates having his picture taken with a flash on, so I never get a good pic, but oh well. For him its all about making sure Santa knows what toys are on his list. I can’t wait to go this year!
Keep talking up Santa and in a few years she’ll be alright with the jolly guy!
this made me laugh out loud! i have several years worth of similar santa pictures…looking back at them I realize i might have tried a little harder with my own appearance. i have precious, cute toddlers all dressed up in their holiday finery and me with unwashed hair, jeans(probably maternity)
and sloppy sweatshirts you’d think i’d have learned
Ahahahaha! She’s hilarious! Awesome photo.
Mom in MN says:
I have a similar picture of my daughter and me with Santa when she was about the same age as Annie. It’s my favorite Santa pic of all time! Now she’s 11 and not so sure of the whole Santa idea. Sigh.
Gotta love that picture!
That is an all-time classic!
cindy w says:
Well, at least YOU didn’t have to sit on Santa’s lap. That would’ve been… awkward.
Hehehe, we have that same photo from when Maya was two! She threw a fit about sitting with Santa so I sat next him with her on my lap. The look on her face just screams. “my mom is torturing me, I hate Santa!!!”
That is hilarious. And, Annie looked so cute in that dress! Love it!
Cindi In Boston says:
Hysterical!! And umm, I don’t know how to say this, but are her shoes on the wrong feet in the first couple of pics? Makes it even more charming if you ask me!
Yes, she put them on herself and wouldn’t let me change them until right before the Santa picture!
Elissa Lerma says:
that is the best Santa pic I have seen so far this season!
Too cute. I love your Santa picture, all happy while Annie isn’t really sure she wants to be there.
We tried our own version of the Santa Plan, and it did not pan out here, either. MAJOR Santa Plan Fail in our household…
Saeryn and Annie continue to be so very much alike. We now have a picture of Daddy with Saeryn and Santa. Good times!
I really don’t get it, because she FINALLY will take pictures with Minnie and Mickey at Disney. She actually got very excited about it. And they don’t even give her presents!
There’s always next year….right????
Aww, we went and saw the big guy yesterday too!
Oh, the memories! My older son wanted nothing to do with Santa at 17 months. We have a picture of him freaking out. Seeing this picture of Annie is probably what I will get this time next year. My younger son was born January 22nd of this yr.
Annie looks like “Oh, I’m not having anything to do with that man” lol
Love love her dress!!!
My daughter was the same up until she was about 4… scared of anything in a costume
I burst out laughing!! That picture is absolutely priceless. I love, love, love it!!!! You and Annie are quite the dynamic duo!
My favorite pictures from my kids at that age; screaming their blooming heads off on poor Santa’s lap. Every year we get them out and laugh.
Rebecca L. says:
It’s the age…..I don’t think there is any amount of prompting to get a 2-ish year old to embrace a scary fat man with too much body hair and smelly, hot clothes. It’s just not that enchanting. I would’ve been more surprised if she’d went for it.
Oh I know that look that you captured on her face as she spotted Santa, my 2 y/o did the same. It’s all fun and games until they get too close.
My 6 year old did one picture on her own with Santa at 6mos., and every year since WILL NOT do it without me in picture too. The first year I got lucky with my wardrobe and I brought hubby into it too for good measure. Now I make sure adults are presentable and Ihave a scrapbook of what has become an annual family photo with Santa and our Christmas tree from that year on the facing page.
My daughter (Annie’s age), luuuuuuurved the Easter Bunny, but since Santa is human, I really don’t know how it’ll go. She can still have some pretty severe stranger danger. I’m thinking we’ll end up with a picture not unlike yours. (Which I’m actually kind of looking forward to because I think it’d make a hiLARious Christmas card.)
Great picture! To be honest, I think I have more pictures of me and Santa since having kids than I did as a child! All of my kids when they were little needed me in the picture. After the first time, I make sure that I have make up on and look presentable when we go see the Jolly old man–just in case.
That picture is priceless. Love the look on Annie’s face as well as her Beautiful dress. Off topic Heather but I just watched this YouTube video & the host looks so much like you. I don’t know what her name is but she reminded me so much of you. http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F&gl=US#/watch?feature=m-feedu&v=hYaMqEDOKk8
I can’t get it to work (I’m a tech moron) this is the title of the video on YouTube : Sophia Grace and Rosie are in the building The X Factor Video
Love it! and the tm…you rock!
My 8 yr old, who looked a little like Annie when she was that age..hated him and still does. She hated the idea of a man watching her sleep. She cried every Christmas Eve…hope Annie does better than my Sophie before she’s 8!
Priceless! And hilarious! Love love love that girl!!!
So funny! Thank you for sharing. Your daughter’s picture with Santa is priceless! She is adorable!
That picture is priceless! I can just see it in her yearbook or being shown to first serious boyfriend! Sorry that it didn’t quite work out – at least she wasn’t freaking out at the idea of santa — she is just more into viewing from afar!
Melanie B says:
Poor little Annie…that Santa is scary! I love her Harajuku dress. She is so fashion forward!
I’m pretty sure that Annie is the cutest little girl on the planet! I really miss when my boys used to say Tanta.
We had breakfast with santa at my work, and my boyfriend and I worked it. Several kids screamed and cried, one refused to unclutch his dads leg, one bit his father for even thinking of putting him on Santa’s lap. I looked at my boyfriend and said “you sure you want kids?”
All in all that is my favorite part of Christmas I have to say. I don’t know why some kids are scared of “Tanta” but it does make me giggle. Until I have my own kids. And then I’ll be prepping them for him weeks in advance.
Jessi @ Quirky Cookery says:
You should’ve had Mike in the picture, too! We actually use our Santa visit as our yearly family picture. We’re all already dressed up, everyone knows they have to smile, it’s fun, and we can all be in one. Heck, all of the kids are “too old” now but even when I went away for college, I came back for the picture with Santa.
Those are the best kinds of Santa pictures