Let your child experience the magic of Christmas with Santa this holiday season.
"We are better throughout the year for having, in spirit,
become a child again at Christmastime."
—Laura Ingalls Wilder
A child's innocent joy during Christmastime is incomparable...
There's nothing that quite compares to the exuberant joy one witnesses when a child spies Santa. The overwhelming excitement is clearly evident on their faces and nothing seems to replicate this feeling. These are the moments we want to capture. Our Santa Experience this year will give your child the perfect opportunity to chat with Santa, share wishes, and feel a special bond with Santa they might not be able to experience elsewhere. Your child will be able to have a one-on-one with Santa allowing them to truly feel holiday magic and a memory that will last forever. A memory that will also last forever for you, the parent. As I'm sure you've noticed, they grow up fast and before you know it, that magic will have faded. But, this memory will be one you can cherish for a lifetime.
"Christmas, my child, is love in action.
Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas."
One of the best memories I have from Christmases past...
Would have to be the year my eldest daughter was 3 years old and we traveled to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee right before Christmas. It was the first trip we had taken as a new family of four as I had my youngest daughter earlier that year. I had only visited this area once before and fell in love with the quaint homeyness of the region. Our holiday there wasn't very long, but we were able to visit a few different places to enjoy the seasonal festivities.
During one such visit to a local establishment, we were enjoying the store's various holiday decorations and wandering around aimlessly. This place is fairly large, so we browsed the downstairs area before making our way upstairs. And, lo and behold, after cresting the top of the escalator, there it was. An old timey photo studio. Now, I won't completely rabbit-trail from my original story, but for those of you who don't know, I flipping LOVE old timey photo studios. To a slightly obsessive degree. Anyway, I digress, sitting there, right at the entrance to this studio, was the big guy himself, Santa Claus.
Now, you might be thinking, "Oh, fun. I'm sure your 3 year old daughter must've loved that". Unfortunately, you would be wrong. My daughter wasn't about strangers...at all. She didn't want anything to do with anybody but my husband and myself. So, we didn't even attempt to see Santa or take any photos with him. However, because of my love for photography, I was conversing with the woman who worked there while my husband was talking with the young employees and Santa. At this time, I was pushing my youngest in her stroller and my husband was holding my eldest daughter. This, my friends, is where the magic happens.
Santa had been playing peek-a-boo with my daughter and speaking gently to her. While this was similar to a typical mall-like Santa experience, meaning you took a quick photo and moved on once your turn was done, there was nobody in line and the upstairs part of the store was practically empty.
All of these elements combined to create one of my favorite Christmas memories of all time.
As we're all chatting for about 10 minutes or so, my daughter had slowly begun to let down her guard and speak with Santa. This ENTIRE time he had focused most of his attention on her and their conversation. He was asking her questions about her likes, dislikes, what she wanted for Christmas, how old she was, her name, any and everything to keep her from becoming frightened. My husband had quietly placed her in Santa's lap at some point and I am glancing back and forth between my conversation and gauging my daughter's reactions, attentive to rescuing her in case she became scared. To my eternal surprise, she was so captivated with Santa that she barely seemed to notice we had stepped out of the frame and neither of us was super close as was our norm. During this magical interaction, the young employees present saw an opportunity (and who could blame them?) and captured quite a few photos of my daughter sitting on Santa's lap and whispering in his ear.
I don't think I'll ever be able to explain what an absolutely joyful memory this moment has been for my husband and I and even my daughter to an extent. She can remember small snippets of this visit with Santa. Since then, she's been able to recall a bit more and always remembers this fondly. And, I should also mention, we bought every photo they presented. I couldn't leave a single image behind. While I can't put a price on that memory, I do remember the actual images being fairly expensive considering it was a meet and greet. However, while I know it was expensive, I don't regret that cost one bit. I clearly don't recall the amount, but I still cherish those images.
Each year we've taken our girls to see Santa. A few times we tried the mall. For us, this wasn't worth the hassle. It's very impersonal, you're rushed through, the prices aren't inexpensive enough to warrant the rushed feeling, and most importantly, my girls didn't feel special. They saw him, smiled at the camera, and told him what they wanted. Then they were quickly pushed through like cattle thus negating the magic completely. Plus, more often than not, their best image was out of focus. This was frustrating and felt like a waste of time and money.
The other times they've visited with Santa it's been more personal and memorable. I feel like I only have their belief in magic for a short time and I want to make the most of their childhood as possible. During the holidays, I've made a point to ensure my girls have a personalized experience with Santa where they feel special and know their feelings and words are important and heard. These images of my daughters believing in magic are photos I'll cherish for a lifetime. I can't keep them believing forever, but I can have the memories of the times they did.