Annie has been talking about going to see Santa Claus since November 1st. Every day it was, “Mama, can we go see Santa? Is he there yet?” She was so excited, but I’ve fallen for that before. Every year she’s excited. And every year (except her first year) she’s flipped out. As I got the kids dressed for this year’s picture, I had zero expectations. Well, that’s not true: I expected to end up with a picture of screaming kids.
When we arrived at the mall, we got into a long line where Annie kept jumping around, waving and trying to get Santa’s attention. Every other year she’s been fairly subdued in line, so I thought this was possibly a good sign. James, on the other hand, fell asleep on my shoulder. James thinks waiting in a line is beneath him.
Right before it was our turn, I asked Annie if she was ready to see Santa. I was trying to give her an out, because I didn’t want Santa to have to deal with an almost-four-year-old’s meltdown. She was ready, though. “Mommy, I am going to tell Santa I want an amulet so I can talk to animals.” On the outside I was like, “That sounds great!” But on the inside I was like, “Good luck, Santa.” I gently woke up James and then…it was the moment of truth.
The kids and I walked up to Santa, and Santa said, “Hello dear, what’s your name?” I held my breath…and Annie walked right up to him and said, “My name is Annabel, and this is my baby brother James!” She climbed right onto Santa’s lap. It was awesome! James, on the other hand, looked a little…confused. He’d only woken up about two minutes before, and now some bearded stranger was holding him. But, he didn’t start screaming or anything. Not that I thought he would, this IS James we’re talking about, but Santa brings out crazy reactions in kids.
The photographer started snapping away, but Annie was just talking Santa’s ear off. I finally had to say, “Annie, stop talking for a second so Santa’s elves can get a picture!” She stopped talking and made an “Ugggggh, Mooooom,” noise, and James started laughing. The photographer fired off a couple quick shots, and that was it. At the end of their visit, Santa gave Annie an activity book (coloring, word search, etc) and a hug. Annie was on cloud nine.
When it was my turn to pay, the girl helping me started scrolling through the pictures. We had confused James, eye rolling Annie, and then this:
The girl helping me was like, “Ohhhhh, that is it, that’s the picture!” And while I didn’t disagree that it was awesome (BECAUSE HELLO!!!), I said, “Were there any other photos?” She replied, “There’s one more, but Santa has his eyes closed.” In my head I thought, “Who cares what Santa looks like?” But my mouth said, “Okay great! I will take 1,000 of these photos, thanks!”
When we got home, I started cutting up the pictures to distribute to various family members, and I saw that our package came with a digital download. I knew I’d want a copy of that, so I logged onto the website and discovered that ALL the photos that were taken with Santa were available for me to look at. Mike and I scrolled through them, giggling, and then we came to the one picture I hadn’t seen. You know, the one where Santa’s eyes were (allegedly!) closed:
And I was like, “Holy. Crap.” Because that picture is a) amazing, and b) SANTA’S EYES ARE OPEN!!!
Every eye is open! EVERY! SINGLE! EYE! I don’t know what that girl was thinking, but in the end she’s gonna have to answer to Santa…just like we all do.
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Becca Masters says:
Score!!! Great pics!!!!
Annie has had the same Santa three years in a row? That’s awesome!
What a FABULOUS photo!!!!!!
They are both cute… I think I prefer the first photo as well. James is just smiling so so big in that one!!
The pics are beautiful as always!! And your Santa just just like our mall Santa… Though I highly doubt he’s traveling across country every day, but who knows…
It actually looks to me like Santa’s eyes are closed in the first one, no? Maybe the salesgirl got confused? But anyway, those are some amazing Santa photos!!! So glad you got your redemption after a few years of screaming disappointment!
That is exactly what I was thinking. His eyes are definitely more closed in the first one.
Yup. I was thinking the same thing. Both pics are adorable. What a difference a year makes! Will be interesting to see how James handles Santa next year!
I’m with Kristen…I think she got the two photos mixed up. But it’s really cool that they let you have all the outtakes! And both of the good photos are really cute! This definitely makes up for two years of Annie crying!
I think we all need to see those outtakes, though…
Merry Christmas! Great Santa pics!!!
Yay! Our 2.5 year old always freaks out over strangers but this year he discovered the love for candy canes! He knew Santa had a bucket of them and it helped him hang in for the photo! Love the 2nd shot! Annie is smiling too.
Holy smokes, Batman but those are TWO incredibly PERFECT shots of your beautiful children!
I love that you didn’t put socks or shoes on James – those tootsies are crazy-delicious!
Sandy North says:
thanks for sharing your family!
ps..i had the draidle song in my head in the car last night and i thought of you.
Beautiful pictures! You scored with a kid who is always smiling. Seems like he is a photo op factory.
Wow, those are the best kid-Santa pictures I’ve ever seen!! Seriously…ever!! Hit, score, win!!
Just adorable, we still need to take our grand daughter. So far, no luck with Santa and she’s 6. She says this year she wants to see him. We’ll see.
Unbelievably great Santa pictures this year!!
Annie looks absolutely charming…I just can’t think of any other word…yes, she is adorable, gorgeous, all of those. But she just has this glow about her in those shots…you can tell she charmed the boots off Santa!
James is a little heart breaker and it’s a wonder you don’t just gobble him up. He oozes happiness…I’m sure he leaves people smiling wherever he goes.
Happiest of holidays to you all…
Jennifer Fetterman says:
Omg congrats on the amazing santa pics!
Kathy Shipstad says:
Love them! It seems James always has eyes on mama!
Love it! I never go in with any expectations either with two young ones. That Santa is a great one by the way! We did the breakfast with Santa last weekend and our boys had a blast (last year was the first time we did it). Pancakes, reindeer antlers, face painting, and getting Santa to come to your table? Winning all around Merry Christmas!
Tiffany Marston says:
They are super cute!!!
Ha — I just wrote about our visit to Santa the other day. That’s great that Annie handled the visit well, and of course James managed a big smile for the photo. He is James, after all.
What a win/win! Amazing pictures, eyes all open and Annie had a good chat with Santa! Love it!
Both pictures are great! Annie is just beautiful, and James is the cutest baby in all the land!
Donna P says:
Those are all wins! James looks like a Hummel. He is so photogenic. Annie is angelic and photogenic as always. Also, that’s a nice looking Santa!
I’ve never taken my son to see Santa. He’s 3. Don’t know if I want to, but that pic is so darn cute, now maybe I have to!
Wow, I can’t believe the luck you got in getting two amazing pics with Santa!! Good job, kiddos!
I LOVE this post! Santa pictures are awesome, and it’s great that Annie loves him this year. I wonder if James with follow in her footsteps or be just as laid back next year. Merry Christmas Spohr family!
Ok, 1st: WTH!!…Think Santa needs to get that elf a pair of glasses for Xmas!!!
2nd: Holy crow!!! TWO amazing Santa pix in one year?!? Kinda makes up for the not-so-stunning ones from previous years! LOL
I’m glad all of Annie’s long-pent up dreams of talking with Santa finally came true.
(I still have 2 nieces & a nephew who would make me swear on my death bed @ random times throughout the past year that I’ll never make them take another picture with THAT SANTA from the Y again!!! And to be honest-he was kinda creepy! LOL)
Sue F says:
Awesome photos!! Your beautiful children take great pictures.
Great pictures. Actually, in the first one I think Santa looks like his eyes are almost closed.
Your kids are literal cherubs
I think the picture with Santa’s eyes closed is the best one. It’s adorable! I love that James has bare feet. Here you can see most of my kids in snow boots.
Oh so adorable I love the sweaters!!! Santas eyes are closed in the bordered picture….Go back Heather they owe you the good ones…
That’s a keeper!
Super cute pictures!!
What a GREAT Baby Boy!! Most babies would have cried being suddenly woken up then placed on a strangers lap! I forget…Did Maddie like Santa?? Annie is as adorable as ever!! I’m really happy for all of you this yr worked out well. WAY TO GO ANNIE & SWEET BABY JAMES!! Thanks for sharing Heather!