High decibel screaming, snot flying through the air, tantrums, hyperventilation and sheer terror…Meet the kids sitting on Santa’s knee – and the parents who put them there.
Most kids arrive to visit Santa with pure elation smeared across their faces as they recite exactly what they’re going to ask him for Christmas. But as they step closer to the big, fat, jolly man – they change. First they’re stunned. Another step closer and most kids are gone. Done. See ya later Santa Claus – I’ll have coal for Christmas – gone.
But their parents persist.
This week, child protection activist Hetty Johnston called for children to be banned from sitting on Santa’s lap. Her call came after Queensland parents and activists took to social media to express their concerns about the safety of the annual tradition. Johnston says children should never feel pressured to sit on Santa’s knee because they have a right to feel safe.
And being a former Santa photographer myself, I kind of agree with her sentiment. I don’t agree with banning the tradition completely, but I agree that we should be giving our kids a choice. Let them decide if they want to sit on the Strange Man’s knee.In my time I have seen it all – parents at their best and parents at their absolute worst. So I’ve compiled a list of the six types of parents that you’ll find at the Santa photo booth.
Don’t be one of them this year.
1. The drop and run parent.
This is the type of parent that will sit on Santa’s knee under their screaming, petrified child. Then just as said child is starting to calm down they will throw the baby into Santa’s other arm, do a dash off camera and yell at the photographer to SHOOT – TAKE THE PHOTO, while the baby has begun screeching again.
Result: A lot of loud noises and a very confused looking Santa Claus.
2. The interpretive dancer.
These parents think that dance is the key to happiness. They will sit their baby or child on Santa’s knee, and when their child stares blankly at the camera these parents take cue. Amazing warped dance moves commence – but sadly, no smile from baby. There are plenty of smiles from me though – I wish I’d had a playlist for these parents, because the silent interpretive dance is next level.
Result: Confused and stunned child – wondering what the heck mum and dad are doing.