Just to refresh your memory, last year, my little one did not mind being around Santa. I appreciate that this guy had a real beard. We'll just forget about his deer-in-the-headlights expression, mmmmk? See how happy she is? See how she doesn't mind wearing antlers on her head? It's like a typical photo session. No need for any fuss.
Now fast forward to this year. One year later and we have a classic portrait of a child with Santa. Full on screaming, get-me-outta-here-mommy-like-NOW expression. It was in this moment that I was completely and totally dissected. Half of me wanted to roll on the floor with laughter, because honestly, you can't buy that kind of genuine expression. The other half of me wanted to pelt that Santa with my camera for just existing. How could he be so menacing that he made my daughter cry. My theory is the beard. It is so utterly full of fake curls that there is no way a REAL person's beard would look like that.
I figured if we put her in a female's lap and bribed her with candy she may evoke some kind of a Mari smile. Nope, not at all. She can spot fake from a mile away. She didn't want to tell either of them about her dog or ask for "pretty" for Christmas. (Which, when I ask her, "Mari, what would you like for Christmas?" She always responds with "Pretty." I don't know if that means she wants earrings (which are pretties) or snow (which is pretty) or clothes or a doll. Regardless, she wants pretty, so Santa will endeavor to make Christmas pretty in all definitions of that word for her.*)
We'll attempt another visit in Kansas and maybe this time she'll have the same reaction she did the first time. Who knows?
*and the asterisk for pretty means that Mommy will actually TRY to get gussied up for Christmas and be pretty too.