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Tips for a Great Santa Visit!

Santa is coming to visit you and your family, so you want to be prepared for an amazing moment!  Check out these handy hints so that your time with Santa is the best it can be!

1. PARKING - Make sure Santa has a dedicated parking space available near your driveway and home.  Sometimes you'll have lots of guests and family members coming for this special moment - please leave an opening for Santa, especially on long streets where only street parking is available.  

2. HELP SANTA FIND YOUR HOUSE - Santa usually lands on your roof in the dark! But when he comes to visit you before Christmas, he travels in a car because the reindeer only can fly on Christmas Eve!  Tie a red balloon to your mailbox so that he can easily identify where you live.  And if you don't have a mailbox by the street level, put something fun in the yard so that he can find you easily. 

3. SEATING AREA - Please provide Santa with a comfortable wingback, sturdy chair.  Low and cushy sofas are not good for Santa.  Please also make sure Santa has either a side table, or an ottoman or lower table next to his chair so he can put his bag and all his magical items!

4. TURN THE HEAT DOWN - Santa is used to cold temperatures at the North Pole, and often gets very warm visiting his friends in Virginia.  While a fireplace makes for a lovely photo, do NOT place Santa next to an open fire - in fact, turn the fire off.  Please also turn your temperature down to at least 68 degrees (air conditioning is preferred) - otherwise, Santa may melt into an icicle! (You can always turn the heat back up once Santa leaves)

5. PET POLICY - Santa LOVES his furry friends.  However, dogs especially can find Santa a bit disconcerting.  If you have four-legged friends, please make sure they're put away in a separate room during his visit, or outside in the back yard.  Santa also has very bad allergies - so make sure all furniture near Santa's seating area is clear of pet hair.  

6. A NOTE ABOUT YOUNG/FRIGHTENED CHILDREN: The ages of 1 - 4 can be "one way or the other" in terms of a child's reaction and feeling about Santa. Children are either on board - or they're not!  If your child is screaming, frightened, crying, clinging to you - any sign of being traumatized, it is IMPERATIVE that you do not shove the child at Santa or make Santa hold that child.  Let the child watch for a bit, or observe older siblings/other kids who feel comfortable with him.  Never, EVER force a child to sit near or on Santa if they do not want to.  Santa is very good about talking to the child and seeing how they feel - he will always ask, "Would you like to sit with me?" If the child says no or indicates they do not want to, please honor your child's answer and be as supportive as you can. "Maybe next year" is definitely a thing!  Be prepared to be in the photo holding your frightened child if it comes to that (You may wish to dress appropriately for potential photos).  Some people find the "screaming child with Santa" photo hysterical and fun - this particular Santa does not.  Thank you for making sure that your child has a really great experience with Santa Richmond. 

7. GIFTS AND GOODIES - Santa always comes with special giveaways, such as stickers, coins, and reindeer bells.  However, if there are any special gifts you wish to give out, please leave a special bag outside by the entrance and Santa can get those gifts into his bag.  It's best to coordinate with Santa ahead of time via email if you have any special items for the children.  NOTE: Santa does not bring or give out food items (candy canes, cookies, etc) - but if you want him to give some out, simply make sure you give him those items during his visit.  

8. PHOTOS & VIDEO:  You are welcome to take all the photos and video you wish during Santa's time with your family!  Make sure cell phones are charged, and if you have an old-school camera, those are charged or have fresh batteries.  

9. PRIOR TO SANTA'S ARRIVAL - Make sure you gather all the children around, away from the windows of your home - maybe have them gather around the Christmas tree and lead them in some Christmas songs, or give them a Christmas activity to do.  When Santa enters your home, it's a BIG moment - it will be far more magical if they don't see him getting out of his car.  The same goes when Santa leaves - make sure all the children are distracted and taken into another room so he can make a clean getaway!

10. POINT PERSON - Whomever is the point person, Santa will text when he is on his way to your home, and will also text 5 minutes before his arrival.  It is best to have the point person come outside to meet Santa and help him with all of his bags and goodies.  

11. FINAL PAYMENT - It is best to make sure you are fully paid up with Santa before he visits.  Those payments can be made ahead of time via PayPal or Venmo.  You are also welcome to give Santa his final payment at the event, but it MUST be given to Santa in a sealed Christmas card, as it's never appropriate for Santa to be seen handling money in front of children.  Thank you! (A reminder that a late fee will be imposed if you forget your final payment)

12. AFTER SANTA'S VISIT:  Santa really loves memories of his time with you and his family!  It would make him SO happy if you would please send some photos and/or video so he can enjoy them for years to come!  If you're comfortable with Santa sharing photos and video on social media, please let him know - Santa loves Instagram and Facebook, and loves to share special moments with his followers and friends.  

13. LEAVE A REVIEW:  If you are satisfied with your visit with Santa, please hop over to his Facebook page, and leave a review so other potential customers can see why Santa Richmond is the best part of the holiday season! 

If you have any questions or concerns regarding Santa's handy hints, please email him at santarichmond@gmail.com