We hoped to get a decent picture of the two of them on Santa's lap, but had pretty realistic expectations - actually, I expected E.J. to smile happily, because that's what he does, and for Ellie to pout and cry, because, well. You know. After last year's Santa performance, I didn't have much reason to expect a much different outcome:
Ellie and Santa, circa 2013. THAT POUT!
We planned to buy a photo of the two of them regardless of how it turned out, but we also planned to buy a picture of E.J. by himself on Santa's lap because, of course, Second Child Syndrome. Ellie got two years of pictures of herself with Santa, so E.J. should have his own, too! At least for his first Christmas. By golly, that child will NOT feel neglected on my watch.
In the end, however, we ended up buying a ton of pictures of Ellie! That was quite the surprising twist, given that both before and after sitting on Santa's lap she was throwing the two-year-old-tantrum to end all tantrums. We weren't expecting much Christmas joy out of these two:
Those are some well-dressed but surly children.
But that Santa was AWESOME. He was able to get Ellie to smile and play and dance with him, and she didn't even want to get off his lap! We got so many nice smiley pictures of Ellie, we could barely choose. I mean, we thought this one was really good:
And then this one was even sweeter:
What an angel.
But finally, we found it. THE PICTURE:
How adorable is she??? She really is such a sweetheart.
When it was E.J.'s turn, he first struck a pose reminiscent of Ellie's first Santa encounter:
Meeting Santa is very serious business.
Ellie's first Santa meet-and-greet on the left, and E.J.'s on the right. What's the deal with the hand up pose?
It was harder to coax a smile out of him than expected. That kid literally smiles at everything, but he was just far more concerned with yanking on Santa's beard than smiling for pictures. Eventually, however, he returned to his usual self and managed to out-jolly the jolly old elf himself!
We did also end up with a nice picture of the two of them:
Ellie is less smiley but still very sweet, and E.J. looks like he's posing for his presidential portrait.
Although compared to their super-adorably-happy individual pictures, this team shot just doesn't quite compare!
All in all, it was about the best Santa experience we could've hoped for! Kudos to the Town Center Santa for being so great with our kids, and of course, kudos to the kids for just being so unbearably cute!
Happy Christmas Eve, friends!