Parents

Ho, ho, no: Parents share hilarious Santa photo fails

Fancy holiday outfits purchased — check.

Slot for photos with Santa booked — check.

Kids coached to smile sweetly in the picture — check.

With all of the holiday photo ducks — or reindeer — in a row, it can be easy to think nothing could go wrong during your photo session with Santa Claus. Right?

Cloud 9 Studios/Melissa Solevilla
Melissa Solevilla says when her daughter, Reagan, met Santa, she immediately began crying.

Wrong.

There's something about the man in the red suit that can send kids into fearful fits of tears. And, as parents, all we can do when heading to the mall to visit Santa is cross our fingers and hope for the best.

Melissa Solevilla, a Florida mom-of-two, says when pregnant with her daughter, Reagan, she envisioned a beautiful holiday photo where her older son, Ethan, smiled lovingly beside his new baby sister.

Reagan, then three months old, had other ideas.

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"The moment she saw Santa, she flipped and my son stood there cringing begging for it to stop," Solevilla told TODAY Parents. "As I stood there crying, everyone told me that someday, I'd laugh. It's still a little raw, but a year later, I can crack a little smile when I see the photo."

Portraits of Grace Photography/Marianne Wallace

Marianne Wallace says her twins have always been terrified of Santa. Still, the California mom does her best to get a photo with him every year.

"Both of my twins, Cole and Lucy, currently hate Santa, which is not great for a photo shoot with Santa," said Wallace. "We didn't expect both littles to lose it, and Lucy cried from start to finish. It was a great day."

Erica Jones
Erica Jones says her daughter, Emmeline, has always been a "flight risk" around Santa Claus.

Erica Jones says when it comes to Santa, her daughter Emmeline has never been a fan.

"Emmeline is always a flight risk — will she love him or hate him?" said the Florida mom. "As you can see, this year she thought her life was over."

"My best advice to parents with little ones like her is to embrace it," Jones continued. "These candid moments make far greater memories than any staged, whimsical shots."

Check out this slide show for more hilarious Santa fails submitted by TODAY Parents readers.

  • Slideshow Photos

    Ruzin Cunningham

    Hilarious Santa photo fails

    See the best cringe-worthy photos of kids getting their photos taken with Santa.

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    "I love this photo more than any posed photo," Amber Gordon said of this image of her kids, Maylee and Joseph, with Santa.

    Photography by Christine
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    Tracey Boren's daughter, Grace, was not a fan of Santa.

    Tracey Boren
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    Mandy Ori's kids were displeased by their interaction with Santa.

    Mandy Ori
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    Even Santa was sad in this photo sent in by Ruzin Cunningham.

    Ruzin Cunningham
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    "I, of course, was super excited because it was her first year to somewhat understand what was going on," Deborah Swanquist said of this photo of her daughter, Kaylee. "She, of course, lost her mind the minute we walked toward him."

    Jeff Roffman Photography
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    Kathryn Hawks' kids, Jake and Maggie, had mixed feelings about their photo shoot with Santa.

    Bass Pro Shops
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    Jenny Bassett says her older children were excited to take their baby sister, Bea, to see Santa. Bea, however, was having none of it.

    Jenny Bassett
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    Kristi Caradonna says after this photo of her son, Connor, was taken, he punched Santa in the face hard enough to break his glasses.

    Seventeenth & Pear
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    Marianne Wallace's son was not interested in a fireside chat with Santa.

    Portraits of Grace Photogrpahy
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    Tiffany McDaniel says her older daughter, Abigail, thought seeing her younger sister, Amelia, go "boneless" at the sight of Santa was hilarious.

    Tiffany McDaniel
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    A misplaced hair bow and a crying toddler did not stop Emily Walker from getting a photo of her kids with Santa.

    Emily Walker
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    Aletha Mann says when it comes to kids and Santa, she has "one who loves Santa and one who couldn't run away fast enough."

    Aletha Mann
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    Marianne Wallace says both of her twins, Lucy and Cole, hate Santa.

    Portraits of Grace Photography
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    Marianne Wallace says she's learned to be patient with her kids and go with the flow during Santa photo sessions. "Don't force the smiles because often the best photos are the candid ones," she said.

    Portraits of Grace Photography
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    Shandi Soles daughter, Macie, ran away from Santa and refused to sit on his lap.

    Brandy Craig Photography
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    "A picture is worth 1,000 words," said Jessica Noble about this photo of her daughter, Ava, with Santa. "My child hates Santa Claus but it's okay. Better luck next year!"

    JC Penney
  • Sarah Boutte is a photographer and a mom, and says the best advice she can give parents about Santa photos is to try to make them fun for their kids.

    Hilarious Santa photo fails

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    Sarah Boutte is a photographer and a mom, and says the best advice she can give parents about Santa photos is to try to make them fun for their kids.

    Sarah Boutte Photography
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    Nicole Jennings' daughter, Bella, 2, has never been a fan of Santa. This year was no exception.

    Blueberry Bliss Photography
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    Kara Morey's daughters, Tabitha and Delilah, kicked and screamed, and tried to run away from Santa.

    Kara Morey
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    Erica Jones says her daughter, Emmeline, has always been a "flight risk" when it comes to photos with Santa.

    Erica Jones
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    "Kendall and Ryder and Santa were not fans of each other," said Melaine Wilkey.

    Melanie Wilkey
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    Ashley Johnson says her youngest daughter was excited to see Santa while putting on her festive dress and preparing for the day. Once she saw him, however, things changed.

    Ashley Johnson
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    "Our Santa experience wasn't ideal," said Laurie DeEsch. "I'm pretty sure my newborn was terrified, based on the look on her face, and my 18-month-old son wanted nothing to do with the bearded stranger."

    Bass Pro Shops
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