Last Saturday, I spent the afternoon taking free pictures with Santa at Brew Coffee House as part of their holiday toy drive. Brew Coffee House is a cozy spot serving a wonderful selection of baked goods and the best local warm coffee drinks. The people are friendly and when they go they stay for a while, making it a perfect place for cold days like today. I am in the "Chai Tea and the pistachio muffin" stage right now, as I work my way around the menu listings ...again. Love their stuff. Not to mention Liz and Nikki the amazing owners who I adore. You have to visit them right here in Phillip Ave, Throggs Neck, Bronx. Facebook Page Right Here
It was a great event and you must attend next year. However, if you missed us and you still plan on taking Santa pictures this season, here are some tips for a merry Santa photo session:
Timing is everything. Don’t schedule your Santa session during your child’s nap time. You want your child refreshed and happy! You also don’t want a cranky, hungry child, so bring snacks.
Don’t make it a surprise. Particularly if this is the child’s first time, don’t just spring it up on them. Talk about it at home. Get here a little early, and hang back so that your child can get used to the idea. If there’s a line, even better. This way your child will get to see other kids with Santa.
Dress for the photo. That cute outfit might clash with Santa or the Christmas decor. You can make picking out special clothes part of the fun and preparation. Also, consider that your child might not feel comfortable unless you’re in the picture. Dress for the occasion, too!
Be flexible. Your child may not want to smile or even look at the camera and that’s okay! You can have an adorable picture with your child looking up at Santa, or even pouting. Some kids don’t want to sit on Santa’s lap; let them stand. Go with the flow. It will make for a much more pleasant experience and a memorable picture.
How is this for flexible....(yes, baby was not feeling well and did a Facetime picture)
Bring a prop. A big, hardcover book can be a wonderful distraction and can make for a lovely photo. Give it to Santa and have him read to your child (or pretend to). Even if your child only looks at the book for a second, that might be just long enough for the picture. A favorite toy might also do the trick. And, if all else fails, a swirly lollipop or a candy cane can work the magic of sugar on your child’s mood.
Bring someone to help you. So you’ve got props, food, and everything else that comes with a child-centered outing in the winter. You might find yourself running back and forth into the shot. Bring someone along to lend a hand, hold your purse, watch the stroller, or whatever else you might need.
Be positive and supportive! If you’re upset or annoyed (no judgement!) don’t give into it, at least not until after the picture. Don’t trash talk the elves or make snarky comments about how skinny Santa is. Even if you’re not vocalizing it, children are extremely instinctive and if they sense that you’re not happy, they’ll be less likely to sit happily on Santa’s lap. I did it....
Try Again. Maybe you really can’t tolerate a skinny Santa. Or you need a lunch break. Or it’s just not happening. Try later, or even another day, or another venue. There is no shortage of events or Santas this time of year.
Get yourself a treat. You deserve it! If you brought a helper along, treat them too. If you do, they might just volunteer for next year. (And YES, I suggest the Chai Tea and the Pistachio Muffin Combo)
....Be Merry, Be Jolly, Be Warm