Sunday, November 30, 2008

A tip to parents on getting a crying kid to smile with Santa; a little trickery goes a long way

USA Today had a funny story a month ago about a new book put out by The Chicago Tribune of pictures featuring crying children with Santa.

These pictures represent some of the saddest moments of the Christmas season. And parents just aren't thinking when they try to get these shots.

As the story explained, parents are trying to get a young child to sit on the lap of a guy who looks like someone they tell the kid to run away from 364 other days of the year. Strange clothes and a long beard do not make for a comforting figure.

Before I came down with leukemia, it was my privilege to play Santa for several area groups. And I got around the crying child problem with a trick that worked every time.

I would get up from my chair and hide. The parents then would sit in the chair like they were taking a family picture. Then I would sneak up from behind and put my arms around the entire family. Viola! A beautiful family moment with St. Nick.

So try this trick next time. Remember, Christmas is a time of miracles.

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