If there are kids, Santa will find a way not to disappoint, but he needs your help, like all good things his "pre-Christmas-Eve flight" time is limited, please book early
Due to time constraints, priority is given to charities over private parties and repeat bookings over newcomers
There is no charge for Santa to appear for a charitable event as long as the following criteria are met:
Have your cameras ready. Be sure to have all the film, video tape, and batteries necessary to take the photos you want or need to get. Be sure to recharge your video and digital camera batteries.
Reserve a special parking space for Santa. It should be as close as possible to where he is appearing. Remember, Santa is a senior citizen. If he parks down the street or around the corner, and has to walk all the way to your home or office, he might be winded or exhausted when he gets there. And remember, he's wearing a heavy velvet suit that gets very hot, even in December. If the visit is at your house, leave an opening at the end of your driveway. Just put a temporary barrier on the space. Use a box or a sawhorse. Have some fun and put a sign out "Reserved for Santa". 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. Again, you can mark the area with a fun sign. This makes it easy for him to be fresh and ready to bring joy to your guests.
Have your gifts ready. If Santa is bringing in gifts for children or guests, they should be well labeled, and fit into one 35 gallon trash bag. Anymore, and it may be too heavy or awkward for him to bring in. We all know of Santa's "magic bag". You know the bag holds tons of toys and gifts and only weighs ten pounds. Well, that bag only works its magic on Christmas Eve! If you must have Santa bring in more gifts, please have helpers available to assist Santa.
Get everyone together before Santa enters. Timing is everything. Santa may only be there for a set amount of time, and if everyone is scattered around the house or office, you may lose valuable time. Santa and you can coordinate. Santa will call you when he is five minutes from arriving. That’s your cue to get everyone together, maybe to sing some Christmas Carols, and to have someone outside to greet Santa. If Santa is bringing in gifts, the person meeting him can help fill Santa’s bag. Then at the right moment, Santa can "pop in" and join everyone in their singing. If you have a large group of children to see Santa, you should assign someone to be Santa's helper and coordinate the order of children as they each visit Santa.
Have a sturdy chair for Santa to sit in. Folding chairs and low chairs (the ones you sink in) are not good. Santa usually likes a chair that is sturdy and stable. A good straight back dining chair works well. No armchairs please. In order to have children sit on his knee, Santa must sit up wide on the edge of the chair. He should be able to sit comfortably and have a child on each knee.
Place the chair near your Christmas tree or in a holiday setting, maybe in front of a fireplace with stockings hanging or any festive type of backdrop. 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 a foot or two between the chair and the tree or wall. This will allow for others together around and behind Santa's chair for group photos.
Think about photos with everyone. Yes, some teenagers will shy away or think it too childish, to have a photo with Santa. Don’t worry; Santa can stand up for a "buddy photo". What about grandma and grandpa? Take a photo with Santa and grandma hugging. And there is nothing more fun than to have Santa ask grandpa if he's been a good boy!
If there is a balance or payment due Santa (private or corporate functions),place it inside a Christmas card or envelope. It never looks appropriate when someone gives cash to Santa. So, as Santa is departing, hand him the envelope and say something like "Thank you Santa, and here is a Christmas card from all of us."