Fearing the man in red

I’m pretty sure our baby hates Santa Claus. 

She’s going through a big-time stranger danger thing. Pair that with a giant red suit, surly beard and she’s not a fan.

Last weekend, they had an awesome squadron kids Christmas party on base.

Xmas party  1 of 1

Lots of activities: a jumping castle, cookie decorating, ornament decorating, face painting and food.

Santa taxied in flying the A-10, then read a story and gave gifts to each of the children.  It was the magical time between Livi’s second nap and bedtime, so I figured we’d have quite a while on the happy camper clock. She had a blast playing with the other kids, especially in the baby ball pit (her fave!) and of course, Tom and I were so busy chatting with friends we didn’t hear Santa call our name. 

Ball pit  1 of 1

Tick, tock.

Instead of being in the middle of the Santa list, we then were moved to the very bottom and dead last for Livi to get her gift and photo with Santa.

By this time, she was ready to eat dinner, get a bath and get ready for bed… not sit on a stranger’s lap for a gift and photo.

I snapped some pics anyway, but in them Liv is holding a wrapped candy cane and screaming. They won’t be posted here, but you can imagine the mixture of heartbreaking and hilarious that is an angry kiddo on Santa’s lap.

The whole ordeal lasted about 5 seconds, and I know she doesn’t remember it, but I feel badly taking her to the mall to get a “real” Santa picture <– the standard “baby in holiday garb with Santa” photo you can frame.

However, that wasn’t really the case with our friends who got photos with Santa recently. They were all smiling, their dogs were in the photo wearing Santa hats, their baby looked happy, but Santa? He was scowling. Apparently he didn’t know “pet day” was in his contract and had to spend an entire day with animals. Apparently, he’s deathly allergic to pet dander. Poor guy.

Anyway, I’m off with Liv to get a Santa photo. I thought about skipping it, but in the end, figured we’d regret it if we didn’t. She may be happy, she may absolutely hate it, but either way, we’ll have a photo to smile at for years to come 😉

How long did it take your kid to LIKE Santa Claus? I’m hoping by next year, when she understands that Santa brings you gifts, she won’t be afraid. 

Any funny holiday or Santa stories to share? I’ll never forget the time our cat knocked over the Christmas tree… hilarious.





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  1. Brittany on December 17, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Oh. Do I have the best Santa story. My family doesn’t celebrate Christmas and my parents were always very upfront with us about Santa not being real. Well one year when my brother was 3 he was in the mall with our babysitter and Santa was there taking pictures. Well my brother being the little ball buster yelled throughout the mall “he’s a fake!!!!!!! He’s a fake!!!!!” And made out babysitter leave the mall. This was 18 years ago and we still make fun of him for it!

  2. Abby on December 17, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    My 18 month old didn’t mind Santa too much, but certainly wasn’t all smiles. I really think it depends on the Santa. We tried with one who was uber jolly and doing lots of hohohoing, and my daughter want having it. The next time we tried Santa was very quiet, elderly and gentle which I think helped my daughter feel much more at ease.Good luck!

  3. Madeline @ Food Fitness and Family on December 17, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Emmalyne HATED Santa this year. She’s 14 months and we were last at our Battalion event too. Funny thing is is that Chris was the Santa. We have a hilarious family photo though 😉

    • Fitnessista on December 17, 2012 at 5:10 pm

      omg that’s awesome

  4. Emily on December 17, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Aww Liv!! I actually REMEMBER being terrified of Santa, and this is when I was even older. I was just afraid of stranger men, for some reason, and did not want to be made to sit on their laps for any reason, ha! You could always just get the Pilot a Santa suit and maybe she would warm up to it that way? (Not a parent so I don’t have anything super helpful to contribute here…)

  5. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on December 17, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Hehe that sounds a lot like me when I was little! At the Christmas party for my dad’s work, there was always a Santa that gave presents out to the kids. I didn’t want to sit on Santa’s lap so I’d insist that my mum go up and get the present for me!!

  6. Katie on December 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    I was TERRIFIED of Santa as a kid! I would always leave him notes the night before, and I would make sure I thanked him for the presents, but would also make sure I asked him not to come in to my room. My mom thought it was hilarious, but she said it made sense that I wouldn’t want an old guy coming in to my room while I was sleeping 🙂

    • Fitnessista on December 17, 2012 at 5:25 pm

      hahah i don’t blame you, either!

  7. Lisa on December 17, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Awe! My Sister was absolutely frightened by Santa or anyone in a costume when we were younger! I seemed to be more brave in that department;) I always had to go up and get presents and candy canes from the Santa at the mall for my Sister.

  8. Ashley H. on December 17, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    At 7 months we are dealing with major seperation anxiety. I thought for sure she would freak out. 5 minutes before seeing Santa I handed her over to her grandma and she cried hysterically. We almost backed out of line but gave it a chance. She ended up loving Santa and we got big smiles. Go figure!!

  9. Brooke @ Running In Heels on December 17, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Haha aww! My brother was always terrified of “the man in red” growing up too! We eventually stopped going because he couldn’t get over it haha I’m sure your daughter will be just fine 🙂

  10. krista@2ndStreetStyle on December 17, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    My kids liked Santa but hated the easter bunny. I couldn’t figure out why until I started quizzing them and they said they didn’t want the giant bunny with big teeth and sneakers in their room. haha. I guess the guy at the mall forgot his bunny feet and the sneakers freaked them out!! Crazy what gets to kids.

  11. Heather on December 17, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    I wasn’t sure what to expect when I took my 6 month old to see Santa. She sat in his lap and looked up at him, decided she needed a better angle, and laid across his lap, looking up at him. Once she was done checking him out, she sat back up and was all smiles for pictures. I just wish I’d been allowed to take my own pics, since the sight of her laying in his lap was too cute!

  12. Amanda @ .running with spoons. on December 17, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Every single picture I have with Santa from when I was little involves me screaming and crying, and it wasn’t just from when I was a baby either – I have pics of me at around 5 with tears streaming down my face. Eventually I got over it, though, so I’m sure that Liv will too 🙂

  13. Kristen on December 17, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    We’re taking our 9 month old tomorrow to get his pic with Santa. He doesn’t like strangers holding him at all so it should be a good time. I’m like you though, I’m afraid I’ll regret not taking him.

    Funny Christmas story: My mom loves candles. She went a little overboard with them at Christmas time. When I was 5 and my brother was 6, I remember she had some lit on the coffee table. There was also a box of tissue nearby. My brother, being the boy that he is, thought it would be cool to see a flaming tissue. My mom was in the kitchen and he dared me to light the tissue. Well, of course I listened. My mom walked in the living room right when I lit it and I freaked out. My reaction was to hide it. So I did… in the Christmas tree!!!! Luckily it wasn’t a real tree and it got put out pretty quickly so we’re not looking back going,”Hey, remember the year you burnt the house down.” Haha…not funny.

  14. Hayley on December 17, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    I don’t mean for you to lose hope, but my parents only got one happy picture of me with Santa. I just never came round to the whole idea of it haha…. But to be fair they weren’t too bright to make me go every year for another teary picture 🙂

    Honestly, Live will probably be great even as soon as this visit!

  15. Lauren on December 17, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    My son has slowly warmed up to the idea of Santa…the first year we took him to “Legendary Santa” and received the obligatory ‘unhappy baby on Santa’s lap’ photo. The 2nd year he still wasn’t really a fan but as long as his cousins were with him, he was ok. Last year, we had breakfast with Santa and he loved going up to him, giving him high fives and climbing in his lap. This year, he’s 3 1/2 and loves to talk about the “Fat man in the red suit”. He still gets a little shy around the big guy, but loves him anyway. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on December 18, 2012 at 12:05 am

      that gives me hope for the future haha 😉

  16. mary on December 18, 2012 at 12:31 am

    My daughter never would go near a mall santa. I considered it a blessing, as it’s not my thing, either. So our tradition is to go see him at the mall and just look down on him from the level above. That’s as close as she ever wanted to get.

  17. Sarah M. on December 18, 2012 at 1:41 am

    My cat knocked over a tree one year too! She must have been intrigued by one of the ornaments and she just lept on it, knocking over the entire tree, spilling water everywhere. Yeah, that was fun…

  18. Marguerite Miller on December 18, 2012 at 11:18 am

    I remember my nephews being afraid of Santa…UNTIL…they found out Grandpop was one of his helpers and wanted them to help too! My dad was playing Santa Claus and they helped him get ready and when he went to neighbors houses they would go along “helping” and carrying candy canes! And they didn’t have a problem sitting on Santa’s lap because it was really “Pop”! He was Santa at their schools and in the community parade too! After doing all of that one year they never had a problem again! I think they were around 3 and 4 or 2 and 3 at that point!
    They were so proud to be Santa’s helpers and so proud or POP for being a real Santa’s helper! I can still remember the joy in their faces, handing Pop his boots and whatever else he was ready for!

    My father has played Santa on Christmas Eve for years, going to friends homes to see the children and tell them they had to go to bed, etc! He has showed up at homes where they weren’t even expecting him…and they didn’t know at first who he even was, but they let him in!! He always had some small gifts to hane out to the kids, and knew their names, etc! When he would be walking back down the street to head home, he would be stopped to come into other peoples homes as well!

    Even funnier was when he was driving home (in full santa gear), and someone pulling out of a restaurant hit his van. Not only did they hit someone…they hit Santa on Christmas Eve…And on top of that…Santa was a cop!!! I’m sure we aren’t the only ones that still tell that story!

    Hopefully by next year, Liv will be OK with Santa! And as heartbreaking as it is to let her scream in fear for those few seconds, you will always be glad you did it! You would have regretted it if you didn’t get a picture, good or bad!!

  19. Lesley on December 18, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    My daughter got scared when we just walked by Santa in the mall so we are waiting until she is ready and interested. We have a picture of her sitting by a stuffed Santa and she is smiling away.

  20. Julie on December 18, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Can’t believe you didn’t post the pic! 🙁 Those are the best ones! I have one of my daughter when she was Olivia’s age pitching a fit on Santa’s lap, & it’s still one of my all time faves. (She’s 13 now.) Hilarious!

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