1.) Making Memories - Make sure you have your camera ready, with extra batteries and memory cards, just in case.
2.) Where to Park the Sleigh? - Remember, Santa is a senior citizen. If he has to walk half a block to reach your house or office he may be winded or to tired to be jolly. Santa's space should be as close as possible to where he's visiting. If it's your home, leave an opening through your driveway. If it's an office or school building, try to arrange for a space to be saved near the front entrance or loading area. Have some fun by putting out "Reserved for Santa" signs. make it a class project or a craft with your kids.
3.) Look! Santa's Magic Bag! - Santa doesn't usually bring gifts or candy with him, he will give out the gifts that you provide. Have your gifts ready to put in Santa's bag, Preferably with one of your "helper's" assistance. Everything should easily fit inside a 35 gallon trash bag. If there are more, your "helpers" can assist in carrying presents inside. Gifts should be clearly marked with a dark marker in case tags fall off.
4.) Lets Sing Carols! - It's important to get everyone together before Santa arrives. Timing is everything. Unless otherwise arranged, Santa will not be able to stay longer the amount of time he was booked. Santa will call when he is five minutes away. this will give you time to prepare the house for his arrival. Gather everyone together to sing Christmas carols or to share stories of family Christmases past. This would also the time to send someone out to help fill Santa's bag. Then, at the right moment, Santa can pop in and surprise everyone.
5.) Where Will Santa Sit? - Make sure to set up a sturdy chair for Santa that is easy to get in and out of. Remember that it must support Santa with a child on each knee. A good dining chair with no arms is a good choice. Please no folding chairs or chairs that sink in, as they can be a bit unstable and hard to out of.
6.) Time for Pictures! - Place Santa's chair in front of the tree or fireplace to serve as a festive backdrop for pictures. Adding your children's stockings can make a world of difference. Make sure to leave space for others to gather around the back of the chair. Would your teens rather have a picture with Santa in a "buddy" hug? What about grandparents? Be sure to make arrangements for everyone's different personalities. If your child is afraid, let them get to know Santa from a distance. They usually come around when the see that Santa is so much fun.
7.) Anything Santa Should Know? - Be sure to give Santa any details bout your family that will make his visit run smoothly and give everyone a special evening. Do you have a child with special needs? Be sure to tell Santa what he can do to make his visit extra special and personal. Do you have pets who would be excited to see Santa? Or afraid? Consider providing treats for Santa to give or show him a certain way to approach your pets to make them more comfortable.
8.) Respect the Suit. - Santa does his best to maintain a clean and pleasant experience, as he may have other engagements to attend. Please don't put wet or soiled children in Santa's lap If you want pictures with your pet please have a red towel to throw over Santa's knee. Santa will usually not eat while visiting to avoid getting crumbs in his beard, but a cold bottle of water would be much appreciated.
9.) Santa's Gift - If a payment is due, please place it inside a Christmas card or envelope. As Santa leaves, give him the envelope and say something like "Thank you, Santa! Here's a Christmas card from all of us." It's never appropriate to openly give Santa cash. It could spoil the magic for the children after all.
10.) Most Important - Have Fun ! - Enjoy this special time with your family and cherish the magic in your child's eyes. Remember that this is all for them.