This year I decided to try something new with the kids. Instead of waiting in long lines to sit on Santa's lap, we elected to go paint a new ornament and a plate for Santa's cookies at a local pottery store, who also had Santa there for photos. It worked out great because the kids got to watch him with other children, and then they went right up to him without crying when I asked!
Unfortunately, I really needed Daddy there to help get them focused on me and the camera. Though they really did smile and talk to him, the pictures don't really tell that story very well.
Preston hopped on his lap first and sat quietly while I snapped a couple of photos. Then Bennett jumped on his other knee and began to rattle off how she wanted a new baby doll and bicycle. The kids told Santa about Bob (our elf), and how he "made a bad choice last night when he got into our candy jar and spilled candy everywhere." He laughed and told them that he would have a talk with Bob about his behavior. Santa looked very good, but unfortunately Mrs. Claus was under the weather and couldn't be there.
We'll be able to pick up our ornaments and plates next week (after they fire them), so they should be nice keepsakes. I elected to have each child paint their ornament as they saw fit, and then we did handprints on each of their plates with the date on the back.