Handy Hints for a Visit from Santa Vernon (& Mrs. Claus--Ellen)
To help make Santa’s visit more enjoyable we have prepared these suggestions.
- Remind all to have their cameras ready: Be sure to have all the film, videotape and batteries necessary to take the photos you plan to take. And don’t forget to give your cameras a fresh charge. We can’t begin to count the number of times people say “I should have brought my camera.”
- Perhaps a special parking place for Santa: Because our van has Santa pictures on it kids enjoy seeing it. Santa always tells them the sleigh and reindeer are reserved for Christmas Eve. They might not see the van when we arrive but they will enjoy seeing it as we leave. Here is one way to do this. If the visit is at your home, leave an opening at the end of your driveway. If your event is at a company facility, office building or hotel, try to make arrangements for Santa to park in a valet or loading area. Again, you can mark the area with a fun sign. This makes it easier for him to be fresh and ready to bring joy to your guests.
- Have your gifts ready: If Santa is to hand out your gifts you might have them in a bag on the porch, in your car, or some designated spot. If you would like Santa to use his own red gift bag to transfer them into, he is am happy to do that.
- Please label your gifts clearly: We suggest using a large black marking pen and writing directly on the gift, as tags can easily fall off. It’s not good PR for Santa if he can’t read the children’s names or pronounce them correctly. Please tell us ahead of time of any difficult to pronounce names so we can practice.
- Have a sturdy chair for Santa to sit in: Santa needs a chair that is sturdy and stable. A good straight-back chair, with no arms, works well. Santa should be able to sit comfortably with the chair supporting him plus a child (or adult) on each knee.
- If Mrs. Claus is coming—please reserve a place for her near Santa: She can often help children who are afraid of Santa or provide extra lap space for family photos. Few Santa’s in our area are privileged to have a Mrs. Claus to come along so appreciate her.
- Place the chair near your Christmas tree or in a holiday setting: Maybe in front of a decorated wall or any festive type of backdrop. Your photos will have more impact. Place a wreath, a few Christmas cards or your children’s drawings on the wall to make a wonderful difference. Leave a foot or two between the chair and the tree or wall. This will allow room for others to gather around and behind Santa’s chair for group photos. Fireplaces do look nice but remember putting Santa too close to a real fire is not good for his comfort or health. His suit, designed for the North Pole, can get mighty uncomfortable in an over-warmed room.
- Get everyone together, before Santa enters: Timing is everything. Santa’s contracted time begins the minute he arrives. Minutes spent getting everyone together is part of your contracted time. If everyone is scattered around the house or office, you lose valuable time. Santa and you can coordinate. Santa could call you when he is five minutes away from arriving. That’s your cue to have someone go outside to meet Santa, and for you to get everyone together and maybe to sing some Christmas Carols. If Santa is to bring in presents, the person meeting him can help him fill his bag. Then, at the right moment, Santa can pop in and join everyone in their singing. If you have a large group of children to see Santa, you should assign someone to be Santa’s helper and coordinate the children as they each visit Santa.
- Think about creative photos with everyone: Yes, some teenagers will shy away or think it is too childish, to have a photo with Santa. Don’t worry; Santa can stand up for a “buddy” photo. What about Grandma and Grandpa? Take a photo with Santa and Grandma hugging! And, nothing is more fun than having Santa ask Grandpa if he’s been a good boy!
- If there is a balance of payment due to Santa, place it inside a Christmas card or envelope: It never looks appropriate when someone gives cash to Santa. So, as Santa is departing, hand him the envelope and say, “Thank you Santa and here is a Christmas card from all of us”