Why This Dad Won't Let His Baby Girl Take a Photo With Santa

Little girl looking at Santa

For families that celebrate Christmas, waiting in line with the kiddos to snap a holiday photo with Santa is often a yearly tradition. With the younger ones, their reactions can be unpredictable, and whether they are in tears or are cracking up over the jolly old man, these pictures are typically cherished memories. However, some families opt out, and this year, Nina's will be one of them -- but her little girl's lack of Santa photo has nothing to do with the hefty price tag, the crazy wait, or religion. It's simply because of her husband's personal beliefs and how uncomfortable the entire thing makes him.


Nina explained on her blog, Judgy Mummy, that her husband will not let their little girl partake in this "rite of passage" that so many other children participate in. She first brought the topic up when their baby girl was 1 year old, after Nina started getting excited about having her daughter take part in a childhood tradition that she always looked forward to, as well as the matching holiday outfits she could pick out for the family.

Toddler decorating Christmas tree

She wrote: "So when I casually raised it with him I was not prepared for his answer. 'I'm not letting my daughter sit on some creepy old man's lap!' he declared. 'Please do not take her,' he pleaded. At the time my little girl wasn't comfortable with unfamiliar people and I thought she would be scared of a bearded old man anyway, so I didn't even test the idea with her."

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Now that a year has passed and their daughter is 2, Nina sees how their once shy little girl is now curious and in awe of the Santa they passed at a local shopping center. "She stood there and stared at him for a good five minutes. The photographer asked, 'So would she like a photo with him?'" Nina recalled. "'Oh no, her dad won't allow her to take a photo with Santa,' I responded. She looked at me blankly. Realizing that it was probably a confusing statement I added: 'I don't know why … he just doesn't like it.'"

Little girl looking at Santa

However, after her little girl's encounter with Santa, Nina began thinking more about her husband's perspective and now understands exactly where he's coming from.

"Here's why it's creepy: 

  1. I wouldn't let my child sit on a random man's lap ever.
  2. Like most parents, I preach stranger danger to my child.
  3. We get told to always educate our kids on appropriate physical contact.
  4. We educate others on asking for consent when approaching babies and children for cuddles and affection.

So just because there is a man in a red suit doing it, is it all of a sudden OK? I guess the same rules should still apply."

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Yes, Nina admits that they could probably come up with a workaround, like having the child stand next to Santa if her daughter asks when she gets older. In the meantime, Nina is determined to keep the Christmas magic in her childhood -- so she came up with a different solution. "Instead, we wrote a letter to Santa and sent it to the North Pole," she wrote. "What is more exciting than getting a letter from Santa?"


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