Nothing announces the arrival of Christmas more than your social media feed blowing up with family Santa photos.
Whether you like them or loathe them, you can’t avoid them and I am one of those people you may roll your eyes at, groan at, and then judge.
However it’s not my kid you will see sitting on his knee, it is me. Now I know you are really judging me.
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While most people end the yearly Santa photo in their early teens, I didn’t really start until my thirties.
I don’t actually know what it was that first attracted me to sitting on the lap of big fat old man in soft velvety attire as a fully grown woman. In the beginning I thought it was because I had only one photo with him when I was a child. Clearly I was deprived. It was an expense my parents couldn’t afford each year with 5 children and many gifts to buy.
I forgive them.
But you can only blame so much on your parents and your childhood. I’m kidding of course, not about the photo, there is only one, but it didn’t scar me for life. I didn’t even notice until I enquired as to if any existed. The truth is far less dramatic. I was late night shopping, saw Santa sitting alone and looking a bit bored and thought I would keep him company. It would be fun thought I, and it was. A spur of the moment impulse has now turned into an annual Emily tradition.
Here I am, years later still stalking supermarket Santa’s to have my yearly fun fix and how lucky am I to have found and fallen in love with a man who will join me. Gerard, obviously aiming to please me in the first year we started dating, came with me caught the bug and now at the beginning of each December we go Santa hunting together.
Then our daughter arrived. While the argument continues each year as to whether it is a good thing to force your young child to sit on the knee of a total stranger and whisper in his unknown ear, it was a rite of passage I couldn’t miss. As you will see by the terrified photo of my daughter Millie when she was 1. But I simply sat with her so I was close to her, and cried along with her, so did Gerard, and so did Santa. The picture is priceless, the memory is golden.
So if you are unsure about whether to get a family Santa photo, here are 5 reasons why you should at least consider it posing for a Santa photo every year.
- It’s the history of your family. Just ask the Wilson Family from Seattle.
They have been taking a family Santa photo since 1955. Seeing all the photos together with the one theme is quite extraordinary, especially as they started adding partners, children and grandchildren as the years wore on. Which leads me to my next point…
- It gets you all together. Families that play together stay together. Nothing like bonding as a family as you wait an hour in line to sit on Santa’s knee for 5 minutes. Since having Millie, my parents, siblings and in laws have started getting in on the action and we make a lovely moment out of it. There are lots of giggles as everyone tries to squeeze in and then we all have lunch together afterwards at the shopping centre. It’s memory making for Millie.
- It’s cheaper than a professional photo shoot. You know the ones where you all wear a white t-shirt and run around on the beach or place your hands awkwardly on each other, something you never do in real life. Sure, they have a place every few years in your life, but they also make a big empty space in your bank balance. Search for a shopping centre that has caught up with the times and let you purchase a USB stick with all the photos snapped that day. They usually cost around $50 to $60. That way you can do a few combinations and faces and if you get a fun Santa he will join in as well.
- Your children will thank you for it. No really they will. Nothing says fun, crazy, zany, caring Mum and Dad than you sitting with them year in year out on Santa’s knee. Later in life when their kids (your grandkids) come along they will delight in all of you continuing the tradition. I literally burst with happiness when Mum and Dad are in town and join in. They won’t be here forever, but the photos will. Need I say more?
- You are never to old to sit on Santa’s knee. In fact, he probably prefers it. You won’t cry, ask for something he has never heard of, or try to pull his beard off. And on the off chance you get the REAL Santa, you will finally get the chance to lean in and whisper in his ear what you really want for Christmas. Chris Hemsworth. Shhhhhhh…….
Emily Jade is half of the Flan & Emily Jade Breakfast Show which can be heard week days from 5am-9am on 1029 Hot Tomato.