Taking photos with Santa Claus is a time-honored tradition.
I have fond memories of being a little girl in pigtails sitting on Santa's lap asking for a My Little Pony unicorn.
I thought my daughters — Alejandra, 4, and Gabriella, 22 months — would also enjoy meeting the man with the beard in a fluffy red suit.
Unfortunately, I was wrong. So. Very. Wrong.
Santa happened by while we were at Shadow Lake Towne Center. He tried to talk to Gabriella and she lost it. Screaming and crying. Big tears rolled down her cheeks, as she pleaded, “Mom! Mom! Mom! I love you!.”
Well, that went over well.
We asked Omaha-area moms to share their Santa photos and stories. And, boy, did they.
One was of a newborn peeking out from a fleece stocking. Another was of an awkwardly posed tyke sitting on Santa's lap. And then there was my favorite, a strawberry blond-haired girl with tears in her eyes and a runny nose trying her hardest to get away from Kris Kringle.
Here are their stories:
Looking for a getaway
Ellie Richardson-Vakiner took her 2-year-old Abbi to the Sugar Plum Festival in Blair, Neb., an event the area businesses host for families to tour their locations. Santa always makes a stop. While waiting in line to meet the big guy, Ellie's parents tried to entertain her. The line to Santa was down a hallway so you couldn't see him, which makes the story even better. As Abbi waited, she kept saying “I like Santa. Santa is my friend.” Until it was time actually see him. “The photo explains the rest,” Mom said. After seeing the picture, Mom purchased the copyright to it and it has turned into this year's Christmas card. “I figure it will be a picture we will look back on every year!”
Santa should be on a sleigh
“We took the kids to see Santa at the Harley shop a few years ago,” said Mom Joy Flott. “RJ was not happy with Santa on the Harley at all. Even his dad, Rodney, couldn't calm him down.”
Special birthday guest
Liliana Smith was always a little timid toward Santa until he surprised her at her fourth birthday party. Mom Donna Smith said once her daughter sat in his sleigh, she and Santa quickly became friends.
Santa as family
Not too many people can say their dad is Santa.
Omaha mom Natasha Ludwig-Page can. Her father, Frank, dresses like the rosy cheeked fella for Westroads Shopping Center.
Both of her children — Maryna, 3, and Jaime, 5 — have special needs.
“My son Jaime was more interested in his juice,” said Ludwig-Page.
Maryna, who has a stoma in her neck because she was a premature baby, was excited that Santa made a special visit to her home.
We're so jealous that you have a direct line with the big guy.
change of heart
Omaha mom Cindy Newton sent us an adorable photo ofher her daughter, Gianna.
Mom said: “Gianna, almost 3, ever so happy to see Santa this year, unlike last year.”
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“My daughter, Maliyah, was very uncomfortable with the whole situation,” said Tammy Hashmi.
“My son, Samir, however, refused to sit near Santa. Until I gave both of them a piece of candy. Then they had something to talk about!”
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Mom Erin Schlake sent us a Santa photo from her daughter Reagan's scrapbook.
“Reagan loved Santa and couldn't wait to sit on his help. Now, at the age of 3, she will not go within visual distance. Amazing how age and experience can change their perspective.”
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Last year, Bryce Allen and his mom waited two hours to see Santa.
“We were second to last for the day and it was already past closing time, yet Santa still looked at every page in my son's wish book,” said Angela Allen of Bellevue. “The extra time meant the world to my son and he talked about it for many days, months after!”
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