Tips for Santa's visit

When Santa Visits.

Relax and have a wonderful time. Nothing can spoil the fun more than stress and trying to make it all perfect. There will be unexpected moments, surprising and perhaps embarrassing words form a child, mispronounced names and gift mishaps along with a lot of fun, laughter and love. Above all, a chance to believe and create memories with family and friends.


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Have the camera ready.

Do you have film, video tape and fresh batteries? 
Is everything charged up? 
If it is a larger group perhaps have someone else take photos. 
You see so many photos with Mom or Dad but not both because one is usually taking the picture.

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Have a place for Santa to park his sleigh

If it’s a home visit try to leave a space at the end of the driveway. You can put a fun sign like “Reindeer parking only” to block the space off. 
If it’s a surprise visit have a car parked at the end with a space in front and when Santa calls to say he is there, who ever greets him outside can pull the car up and Santa can park behind.
If it is a visit to another facility try to make arrangements for Santa to park in a valet or loading area. Again, use a fun sign.
Remember, Santa is a senior citizen and will be wearing a heavy suit. The closer the parking the better. 
He is also very popular and may get stopped on his way if he has to walk very far. 
He wants to be on time but Santa can’t just ignore a child that might come up to him on the way.

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Have your gifts ready.

If you want Santa to hand out candy canes, it is best that you provide them or make arrangements ahead of time. 
If you have gifts, Santa can carry in one bag of presents. 
They should be well labeled with names written clearly directly on the gift. No labels or stick on bows (they like to fall off). 
All gifts should fit in one 35 gallon trash bag that can be placed directly into Santa’s bag. After the presents are opened Santa just happens to have a trash bag to put the trappings in. 
If you have more gifts have an honorary elf (adult ) that can help bring them in.
For large groups perhaps have the same gift for all the boys and one for all the girls. (Children sometimes prefer what the other child received). 
Santa shouldn’t show favoritism by giving someone else something “bigger” or “better”.
Another idea is to have each child bring a small gift put in Santa’s bag to give other needy children. Santa will then leave the gifts in a designated place for you to give to a charity of your choice.

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A place for Santa (and Mrs. Claus) to sit.

Folding chairs, plastic chairs and low, sink-into chairs are not good. They need to be sturdy and stable. A good quality straight-back dining chair works well. 
Santa should be comfortable and able to support a child on each knee. A nice settee works well for multiple children or family photos.

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Placing Santa's chair.

Near the tree or in front of a decorated wall or festive backdrop will make your photos more enjoyable. 
Use something personal like a special family wreath, children’s drawings or Christmas cards. 
Have enough room for folks to gather around and behind the chair. 
Remember, fireplaces are beautiful but Hot! Santa will be dressed warmly and children are often clumsy. Try not to put Santa too close or perhaps leave out the fire.

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What all do you want Santa to do.

Make arrangements with Santa before hand on what you have in mind. Do you want him to read a story or sing some carols with everyone? 
Will there be a problem with bringing up the religious aspects of Christmas or perhaps you would like to. 
Tell Santa of any special needs. 
Try not to have too many surprises and stick to the arrangements made. Santa is versatile and accommodating but only has so much time and energy. 
Think of the others awaiting a visit from Santa.

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Think of the time. Have everyone together.

Santa only has so much time. He wants to see, talk with and have pictures taken with everyone. 
Make sure you have contracted enough time with Santa. Remember, your visit may not be the only one he has that day. 
Santa will call a few minutes before arriving which will give you time to gather everyone together for some special reason like singing a carol or playing a game. 
If a large group of children are present, have an adult assigned to help coordinate and control. 
Remember, Santa has to have time to see everyone.

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Photos with everyone.

That teenager doesn’t have to sit on Santa’s lap. He or she can stand with him for that “buddy” photo. 
How about Santa giving Grandma a hug or asking Grandpa if he’s been a good boy?
Don’t forget the family pets. Santa loves pets but please make sure the pet is “Santa friendly”. Maybe have a towel or small Blanket for Santa’s lap. It’s expensive to clean Santa’s suit. 
Decide on picture ideas before hand to save time.

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If there is going to be payment.

It never looks appropriate when someone gives Santa cash. 
Payment can be made before the visit or placed in a envelope or card and given to Santa as he leaves saying “Thank you Santa and here’s a Christmas card from all of us.
Merry Christmas.”

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