Santa Gave Me The One Thing I Could Never Get: A Decent Picture Of My Kids

Mall Santa time.

We visited the Chinook Centre Santa this weekend to get the annual letter in to the big guy, and maybe pose for a picture. More than a school photo, I like the annual Santa picture as a way to maybe get a picture of my kids.

I say “maybe” because, well, Charlie doesn’t do well with the old elf. Never has.

We waited nearly an hour in line. But the boys were relaxed. There was LEGO, colouring, big bean bag chairs with Polar Express playing. Mrs Claus was wandering around, half a dozen elves were interacting with the kids. All while I waited in line.

It was perfectly set up. The boys were relaxed and ready.

Then the moment came.

Let’s refresh how Charlie reacted last year.

Santa Claus Charlie Zacharie

2011 wasn’t any better.

2011 Santa Charlie Zacharie

This year? He ran .. ran straight for that sled and bounced into the big man’s belly with a smile. Zacharie sashayed up behind him like a seasoned veteran, and the two boys beamed in the big sled.

The set-up in genius. It looks like a sled with a mountain of toys in behind, and a tv screen straight in front of the kids. On the screen is a projection of reindeer. It’s about as virtual reality as you can get and the kids are put in a trance.

“Dude, I’m on Santa’s lap, in a sleigh, and there’s reindeer in front!”

It’s about as real as any 4 year old could hope for.

After getting comfortable with the situation and having a chat with the Jolly old Elf, it’s picture time. The photographer has a huge array of noise makers, toys, stuffies, and the like to capture the perfect smile from the kids.

2 takes is all it took and we landed the absolute greatest photo of our boys ever. I mean, they’re cute and they always look great to us, but this photo has absolute synchronicity. Both natural. Both happy. Both just absolutely perfect.

There really is a Santa Claus.

Santa Claus Zacharie Charlie

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Buzz is married to Jennifer and has 2 sons. Zacharie was born in May 2007 and Charles in January 2010. Buzz is a radio guy who enjoys building bridges between old and new media. Follow buzz on Twitter @buzzbishop and check out DadCAMP on Google+


  1. You can follow the chinook santa and his funny quotes from the kids that visit. Check out “santa diaries” on facebook :)

  2. It’s gotta be the beard! The two previous beards were awfully fake… this year it was obviously the REAL Santa, real beard and all.

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