Category 1: The It-Almost-Happened Picture
This is when there is some degree of effort, but it just wasn't quite enough. Maybe you showed up and Santa was on lunch break. Or maybe it was closed for the day. Or maybe you waited in line for 15 minutes not moving and decided it was just not worth it. Basically you end up with no photographic proof of anything happening because...it didn't.
We have fallen in this category before. First attempt 2012.
Category 2: The Can-I-Get-My-Money-Back Picture
You often see those pictures of children sitting on Santa's lap screaming. That is not what I am talking about here. Those are actually so bad they are funny. The screaming/crying pictures are category 3; and while not ideal, they are still better than category 2. What I am talking about here is a step beyond category 1, but the results are not good. Maybe your child is halfway out of the picture. Or maybe your child is mesmerized by the beard and will NOT turn to look at the camera AT ALL. NOT FOR ANYTHING. Only the beard. No amount of name calling and silly noises can take her eyes off the beard. Ok, that is what happened this year.
Clearly, Lainey has never seen a beard of this caliber before. Too bad they don't have a bell or something that they could use to get her attention.
WHAT IS THAT IN THE BACKGROUND?
Why do they even have 2 elf helpers if they are not gonna help us with the bell?
Let's move along.
Category 3: The Why-Are-You-Torturing-Me Picture
I think these are so funny. Is that mean? Probably. But when you see a kid with a look of sheer terror on their face due to a jolly, magical character, it is just kinda funny. I am not heartless though. We could have easily fallen into this category this year, but I did not force it. Cause clearly, isn't one of my children missing from the picture above? Yes that would be Cambry who went all stiff-body on us and would not budge once she entered a 6 foot radius of Santa. And I didn't make her. See, aren't I sweet? I actually do not have an awesome examples of pictures to post for this category. The closest I have is our last year picture where Cambry is trying to get away.
Category 4: The Happy-To-Be-Here Picture
This is where the child actually looks happy about sitting on Santa's lap. Or even if there is not a smile, but just cooperation without tears, it still counts. This category makes up the smallest percentage of Santa pictures. And with each additional child you have in the picture, the chances of achieving this category are drastically reduced. We actually fell into this category on attempt #2 in 2012. I am thinking in 2016 we will have a shot at this again. We'll see.