Make a Mall Santa Survival Plan

“I don’t see why you sit through all that line just to torture your kid,” my best friend since childhood handed me back the photo of my two year old daughter screaming in Santa’s lap, with her four year old brother poised  and grinning against his side.

For me it’s about when they are adults.  I don’t want them to look back and say, “mom why did you never take us to see Santa?  I also want my daughter to face her fears and not be hidden from them, in the big picture, I feel, this is for the best.”

Despite what the picture may entail this was a fantastic day spent to see Santa the day before Thanksgiving in one of the most populated malls in Houston, TX.  For many, the experience is stressful, or even some would go as far as to call the process quite the nightmare, and in all honesty I once felt the same until I learned to just develop my plan.

  1. Plan for the day.   Going to see Santa post Thanksgiving is no light ordeal, and is best when not a spontaneous decision.  Pick a day that works best for the family.  Pick the best outfits for the kids whether pajamas or Christmas best. Conduct a little research on the malls in your area.
  2. The earlier the better.   Plan to arrive in the mall the earliest you can in the day and the season.   Most Santa’s magically appear in your local mall around the first week of November, making pre-Thanksgiving the prime timeline to visit Santa.  Though if you are reading this blog on this date in the year of our savior 2017, then that ship has obviously sailed.   So now I say, plan to be at the mall before opening.   Twenty to thirty minutes should suffice.  An earlier arrival generally makes for a quicker line and a fresher Santa.
  3. Have all electronic devices charged and ready.  Don’t miss out on a moment, more than half the memories can happen in line.   Also some Santa booths allow you to shoot pics along side the photographers, and so you have the opportunity to capture a vaster variety than allowed in your photo package.
  4. Check for Reservations.  Some malls allow for you to book a time in advance to coming to the mall.   I view a reservation as a security blanket, it doesn’t necessarily ensure that you will be through the line in record time, but it does certainly give you that boost of confidence that you are expected and prepared for before arriving.
  5. Be prepared to purchase your package in advance.  You will be more than likely pressed to pick your package and sometimes go as far as purchasing it before your kids even have the opportunity to whisper their deepest wishes in that old jolly man’s ear.   Be prepared, Shopgirl advises you to alway seek out the package that offers the CD so you can print, share, and create your own images.
  6. Shop the Dollar Section of Target.  Though the wait is excruciating for you, imagine how long it feels for your kids.   Stop by the dollar section of Target the day before and pick out a few cheap activities for them to play with while they bide their time in line.
  7. Carpe Diem. Choose a mall that is full of fun activities so that when all is said and done your family can seize the opportunity (not to mention the cherished parking you scored arriving super early) and take in the mall.   Toss the kids in the sit and stand and make your way to the food court for lunch and a delightful treat then family festivities in the mall such as carousels, play zones, candy stores, and trains.  Splurge on some popcorn and a matinee of Moana, Trolls, or for the older kids Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

And because I can’t resist but to be cruel to my kids (Santa looks so pleased):

8 thoughts on “Make a Mall Santa Survival Plan

  1. Oh wow, I didn’t realize how intense the whole mall Santa ordeal could be (I don’t have kids of my own yet)! It’s one of those things I don’t realize until someone points it out, and then it’s quite obvious. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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