Our first picture with Santa!

Over the years we just never cared about getting the picture with Santa. I hate crowds and I hate holiday crowds even more…so we just never did it. Then, once Owen was a bit older, we tried…but the commotion was too much for him and we had to leave before Santa even arrived.

Fast forward to this year and he’s showing A LOT more interest in Christmas—like things he wants and asking about Santa—so I thought I’d have to try this year (of course, the year Tom is gone). Thankfully, the local autism society planned a sensory-friendly event at the mall (two hours before regular pictures with Santa started) and we were first in line!






Owen was good at being patient (just asking a handful of times how many more minutes) and overall it was easy peasy! Of course Katie wasn’t her normal smiling self, but I was just happy she wasn’t snotty and/or screaming and/or wiggly and actually looked at the camera. I think they only took four pictures! Owen was great, too—and was EXCITED to see Santa. (Last night when I was telling him about the “mystery trip” to prepare him, he asked if it was the real Santa or a pretend Santa. I had no idea where he got the idea of real and pretend, but I told him it was a pretend Santa because of course the real Santa was getting ready at the North Pole. He accepted that.)

Of course the picture packages are a complete racket—but I ended up with a $40 package because it came with a $20 Shutterfly credit. I could have gotten cheaper packages but they only came with $10 Shutterfly credits so it was cost efficient (for me) to get the bigger package. So I will have actual photos to mail out this year. :)

2013-12-01 Santa kids photo Jacksonville Mall

On the way out, Owen wanted to ride in this kiddie car. I just happened to have the required quarters, so I said okay.


As you can see, Katie lasted about four seconds…and Owen only lasted about three more. :)

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