Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Photos with Father Christmas is not the same as photos with Santa Claus

Maybe some of you were wondering why I only included a photo of Seth on Santa's lap yesterday (at least my parents were thinking this), but it was too choice not to leave it to it's own post as this illustrates so well a part of British culture that does not compute in America....well at least not where I'm from.  

Exhibit A:

Annual picture with Santa fail.
This is as close as she would get, and I don't think I need to tell you how she felt about it.
Call me a bad mom, but I was totally fine with having Santa hold her and getting that quintessential crying with Santa photo, but British Santas frown on this and will not take screaming children.
What?!  Who does not own a photo with Santa where at least one sibling is crying?  Anyone?

Seth never went through the "scared of Santa" phase which I was always kind of proud of since all of our photos, he's totally cool about it.

Who, this guy?  We go way back.

I figured Avery wouldn't be as willing since she's always been a mama's girl, but she surprised me her first Christmas.

Let's take a little trip down memory lane and check out the difference between Photos with Santa in the US and the UK.  I only did one or the other each year because I am not a glutton for punishment.

Texas 2010 - Seth at 6 months
I don't even think they had a sit with Santa option this year in Edinburgh.

Texas 2011: Seth at 18 months (and photo credit to Memorial City Photographers).
I thought he might cry this year because all of his cousins screamed for their 18 month Santa photo.
Um no.  This kid loves Santa. And I'm pretty sure that is actually Santa Claus - I mean look at him.
No wonder Seth didn't cry! Best.Santa.Ever.

Now we knew getting to Houston on Christmas Eve wouldn't give us enough time to make it for Avery to have her first Santa Photo with Santa himself, but we settled for Father Christmas in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh 2012: Seth 2.5, Avery 9 months
She looks concerned, but she was actually totally fine and was just pointing out the twinkly lights.
Main difference between Edinburgh sit with Santa and US...where do I even begin?!  It's literally a gold chair under an arch covered in fake greenery and lights sitting in an open area in a mall.  That's it.  No photographer trying to nickel and dime you, no back drop blocking the pink fluorescent store lights in the background, and most obviously no Santa hat - what?  Is he supposed to look like a festive Jawa?
And actually I'm fine with all that because no fuss equals no queue line!

I noticed this year as Christmas drew nearer that Santa's photo area had been revamped.  I wondered how this would affect the line and if that meant we would now have to pay a photographer to photograph our children.  Wait.  What? Even hearing that somebody could force you to pay someone else to take a photo of your child with Santa instead of allowing you to just do it yourself  for free sounds so wrong - I can't imagine that happening here (at least not in Scotland...maybe in London).  But my fears were assuaged when we showed up with the kids dressed up and nary a photographer or line was to be seen.  If only my daughter would have cooperated.  Or Santa had only just held her long enough for me to snap one shot.

And we've gotta end with this photo again because her face is so classic.
Edinburgh 2013: Seth 3.5 seriously contemplating what he'd like for Christmas,
Avery 21 months and



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