Tips for your Santa Visit!

1. Have your camera(s) ready. Santa is on a tight schedule so most likely he will not be able to wait for camera/recorder repair.

2. Think about Santa's parking & entrance arrangements. Parking "down the street" or around the corner may be necessary. If no arrangements can be made for quick access from parking then walking from such locations will be included in travel time. If your event is at a company facility, office building or hotel, try to make arrangements for Santa to park in a valet or loading area.

3. Get everyone together before Santa enters. Santa will only be there for a set amount of time. If everyone is scattered around the house or office, the visit will be less productive. Santa will be happy to assist with suggestions. Mr. Claus will call you when he is 5-10 minutes away from arriving. Have someone meet Santa in the pre-arranged location. If Santa is to bring in presents, the person meeting him can help fill Santa's bag. If you have a large group of children to see Santa, you should assign someone to be Santa's helper and coordinate the children as they each visit Santa.

4. Want Santa to deliver gifts? Have them ready. Santa can carry in one bag of presents for children or guests. They should be well labeled. Tags can easily fall off. Use a large black marking pen and write directly on the gift. All packages should fit into one 35-gallon trash bag. Please keep in mind the bag weight. Santa's Magic Bag, the one that holds everyone's toys and gifts, only works its magic on Christmas Eve!

If you have more gifts than will fit in one bag, see if there is a way to have the gifts near his chair before he arrives or arrange for him to have "helpers" to bring the extra gifts in.

5. Have a sturdy chair for Santa to sit in. Folding chairs and low chairs (the kind you sink into) are not good. Santa usually likes a chair that is sturdy and stable. A straight-back dining chair works well. He should be able to sit comfortably to have children on his knee.

6. For optimal pictures, think about the staging for the sitting. Maybe in front of a fireplace (not too close, Santa has a very warm suit on) with stockings hanging. Your photos will have more impact when the background has a festive look. Place a wreath, a few Christmas cards or your children's drawings on the wall to make a wonderful difference. Leave space between the chair and the tree or wall to allow room for others to gather around and behind Santa for group photos.

7. Not everyone will want photos with Santa. Some older children will shy away or think it is too childish to have a photo with in Santa's lap. Don't worry; Santa can stand up for these photos. Pictures with Grandmother and Grandfather? Take one with Santa and Grandma Hugging. Nothing is more fun than having Santa ask Grandpa if he's been a good boy!

8. In some cases a balance will be due at the time of visit. It just doesn't look proper to hand Santa money. Put it in an envelope and offer Santa a Christmas Card from everyone!