27 Photos Of Kids Who Are Totally Ticked Their Parents Made Them Hang Out With This Weird Santa Guy

leadsantaIt’s a pact as old as Old St. Nick himself: in exchange for years and years of presents “magically” appearing on Christmas morning, to the youngsters’ delight — without being able to take credit for it — parents offer up their offspring to Santa Claus. In turn, they get the reward of gleefully sharing photos of the momentous event for years to come. This might be the only time it’s considered appropriate to find humor in a child’s fear, and that’s why we like to share your photos of kids being totally freaked out by Santa every year.

And it’s a gift that keeps on giving — these screaming, caterwauling tiny humans will one day grow up to be fully-functioning adults who can not only share their past encounters with the bearded one, but set the wheels in motion with their spawn as well.

Without further ado, we present this year’s crop of kiddos temporarily driven teary by their encounter with Kris Kringle.


“Here is a picture of our daughter Abigail who, after waiting in line three hours to see her second Santa of the season, she was still not a fan.” — Dad T.M., who clearly believes in the maxim, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again (and take photos).”


“Moses, 19 months. He was all about Santa from a safe distance, but once that curiosity became reality, he did not scream with delight.” — Caleb


“This is Julia at 16 months. This is just what we hoped would happen. Payback for toddlerdom.” — Jenna


“We visited our local mall Santa for a family photo and quickly found out our son Gavin didn’t want anything to do with him. We left without a photo. Later that week, unknown to us… His daycare arranged a Santa visit — this is the photo he came home with… I’m sure he has a Santa stalking complex at this point.” — James (you did your best, don’t blame yourself!)


“My son, Timothy, one day short of 18 months old at this year’s ‘Breakfast with Santa’ at our church. Mommy was hoping to get a picture of them together with her phone, just visible on the left side of the picture, but that wasn’t to be.” — Rob


“Calvin was not too amused when Mom wanted a picture of him with Santa. One year earlier at 6 months he had no problem sitting on the big guy’s lap. What a difference a year makes!” — Amanda


“Our 18-month-old twin sons, Owen and Ben, during their first encounter with Santa.” — Angie


“We waited in a very, very, VERY long and slow line [in 2013] to wait for THE premier Santa in all of Portland. With a (barely) 2-year-old. We should have predicted the outcome. Our son Oscar is 4 now, and whenever he sees this photo, he talks about how scared he was.” — Aimee


“This is my son, Anders, age 2, taken November 2015. He was super happy until we plopped him in Santa’s lap, then he started bawling. This was the happiest pic we got and it is what is going on the Christmas card.” — Kelani


“My twins Lance and Lana are 7 now — sorry I cannot provide any funny anecdotes. I was more traumatized than they were!” — Cherie, who had no luck with this… twice (see photos above, below)




“My grandson Angel would not sit on Santa’s lap for a picture. Santa said, ‘I’ll bring you a choo-choo train.’ My grandson said, ‘No thanks.’ ” — Evelyn, who has a very polite grandson


“It took little Maddie 2.3 seconds to go from skeptical to full on upset at being handed to a Santa. Later she would consent to a high five but otherwise. ‘No, no’ when asked if she’d like to tell him what she’d like for Christmas.” — Harold


“Elliott, 13 months.” — C., a parent who lets photos speak for themselves.


“I just had to submit this picture of my son’s first Santa Experience. Calex was 10 months old when this picture was taken in 2011, and it is still my favorite picture of him to date.” — SueAnna


“Parker, age 3 (the happy one) and Connor, age 1.5 (crying). Connor wasn’t too thrilled with this year’s trip to see Santa.” — Tim


“Gabriel and Taylor.” — Cassandra, another succinct parent.


“This picture was taken in 2014. It shows my 1-year-old Devny meeting Santa for the first time with her 5-year-old sister, Presley. My wife is trying to get both to smile but only managed to distract them from looking at the camera. Santa just stared blankly at the camera waiting for me to take away this screaming mess of a child. It’s one of my favorite pictures EVER.” — Hunter


“My son Jackson, age 8 months, Christmas, 2014. He did okay for a few seconds, but quickly lost tolerance.” — Rob


“That’s me, Courtney, circa age two-and-ahalf, 1982… That’s my dad as Santa. I still feel a little terrible about this photo.” — Courtney, who should not feel terrible about this photo.


“This photo was taken last year. My daughter was about 7 months old at the time and my wife and I thought it would be great to get a picture with Santa. The local haberdasher that I use (or more correctly, pay too much money to) brings in Santa once a year for photos with the kids as a way to get people in around Christmas. We made the trek down and put her in the new outfit my wife had picked out. Things were going well, they took a couple of nice photos, then they had to wait a minute to change camera batteries. That’s when it all went south in a hurry. They got the camera battery changed and took a quick picture of my daughter losing her mind while Santa held her.” — John, who is the second person I know who frequents a haberdasher.


“Harley, 15 months old. Santa sure looks like he’s having a good time, Harley on the other hand… Both mom and dad think it’s as funny as Santa does.” — Adri


“Logan was three years old when this was taken. We’re probably pretty bad parents, because we thought this was hilarious. We put it on all of our Christmas cards that year!” — Allison, who is not a bad parent just because this is hilarious.


“On the right, wondering exactly when this massive hulk of a man will consume his little body: Matthew, 15 months old. The wife wanted ‘cute photos of both boys smiling’ so we trekked over to the local mall. Dressing them in matching outfits, we were ready for the cuteness to begin! Unfortunately, while Andrew was perfectly happy sitting on Santa’s lap and smiling at the camera, and Matthew was okay waving ‘hi’ to Santa from afar, bringing Matthew any closer than about five feet quickly led to a breakdown of epic proportions.” — Fernando


“Here are my two kids together. Juliet, 3, and Jackson, seven months. Scary Santa on the Disney Cruise!” — Mom Michelle, who knows kids can’t escape Santa on a boat.


“This is my child, Gumpo (age 4 at the time). This was his first visit to Santa at the mall. We take him every year — but this was the best photo. Those eyes…” — Wes, who we do not judge for submitting a photo of his cat — nay, we salute you, Wes.


“Here is a picture of my daughter, Liz, when she was just four. I wouldn’t doubt that her older brother had talked her into this little trick.” — Denise, with one of the best photos ever that isn’t actually of a kid freaking out, but being totally awesome. This is also the first photo we received this year

Thank you all for sharing! You make Consumerist a better place every year at the holidays (and every other day).

For more fun with Santa, check out our archives for 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Did you enjoy this? We’re a non-profit! You can get more stories like this in our twice weekly ad-free newsletter! Click here to sign up.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.