It's that time of year when families around the country stand in line for hours at the mall in the hopes of getting that perfect Christmas picture of their little ones with Santa. Sometimes things go well and the moment is captured beautifully. Sometimes, things don't — and parents either leave without a photo or the picture just isn't very good. But sometimes, things go so horribly wrong that the photo becomes a family tale to be shared for for years to come.
Here's a look at some of the best Santa photos we found. They include the bad, the sad and Mr. T. Enjoy.
1. Double trouble
What is it about twins that you can never get them to do the same thing at the same time? Unless, of course, it's having a meltdown on Santa's lap.
2. Sound asleep
Baby Zeke falls asleep every time he goes to visit Santa. (Photo: Donnie Walters/Facebook)
This picture of Zeke Walters captured the hearts of the internet this year. What's even better is that when his parents took him back to see Santa on another trip, little Zeke fell asleep again. Must be something magical about Santa's workshop that puts this little fellow right to sleep.
3. Santa playing on the floor
Brayden's parents told Fox 5 News that it is a rare and special occasion to see their son this engaged. (Photo: Fox5NY)
Big shoutout to this Santa whose patience and kindness helped this little boy — and his parents — enjoy this special holiday moment. When Santa learned that this little guy had autism, he crawled right onto the floor to play rather than make the boy sit on his lap. Now that's a magical Santa!
4. That scandalous kiss
Do you remember the time that first lady Nancy Reagan sat on Mr. T's lap when he was dressed as Santa? And she kissed him on the head? Yeah, I didn't either. But this pic captures it all. And it's one for the record books. Thank goodness for the internet.
5. A plea for help
We taught our baby sign language. This is the sign for "help." You're welcome. pic.twitter.com/i6NkxBf4KP— 🌈Dr. SWILUA (@Swilua) December 5, 2017
When Kerry Spencer taught her toddler the sign for "help" in sign language, he certainly knew when to use it. As soon as he was plopped on Santa's lap, the little guy signaled for assistance.
Spencer's tweet was very popular, racking up 26,000 likes and more than 6,700 retweets within a couple days. Of course, this being the internet, a few nitpickers questioned whether the baby actually had the sign down right.
"And to all the commenters saying he did it wrong, he was one!" replied his proud mom. "Give the poor guy a break!"
6. Santa's security detail
It's not clear if this security detail is protecting Santa, or the little princess. (Photo: mamarock5/Instagram)
When you're a teen or tween boy who is forced to take a picture with Santa and your little sister, you can either slap on an ugly sweater and get ready for years of ridicule from your friends or play it cool by acting as the security detail for the event.
7. This crazy happy corgi
Santa with the happiest corgi on the planet. (Photo: wallythewelshcorgi/Instagram)
Forget the kids, this Welsh corgi nails his picture with Santa. He's got the sweater. He's got the smile. And he knows there are dog treats coming his way.
8. Peek-a-boo turns peek-a-bad
What else would you expect a little girl to do when a creepy guy pops up out of nowhere? (Photo: brittcarrington/Instagram)
I almost feel bad for these parents who obviously went to a lot of effort to stage this holiday moment for their toddler. But seriously, what else did they expect?
9. Santa hanging with the gals
Santa knows how to relate to teen girls. (Photo: savannagirl13/Instagram)
Kudos to this Santa for bringing the joy of the season to these goofy teenaged girls.
10. The build-up
I think we all know what's going to happen next. (Photo: individualrivalry/Instagram)
Wait for it ... wait for it. Yeah, this is one situation that's not going to end well for Santa or the little girl.
11. Sadness and disbelief
Santa looks a little weary in this one, doesn't he? (Photo: ginger_anne/Instagram)
Poor little fella. This picture collage really captures his cycle of sadness-disbelief-sadness-disbelief, doesn't it?
12. This little boy is flat-out not interested in Santa
This little boy has given up on Christmas this year. (Photo: jackieoconnor6/Instagram)
This little boy is not going to meet Santa. You can't make him. Nope, you just can't.
13. Santa's little elf
This baby is ready to go to work in Santa's workshop! (Photo: crcountry716/Instagram)
Put this baby to work, Santa! He is all dressed and ready to go. One thing though, you might want to check on the status of that diaper first.
Editor's note: This story has been updated since it was published in 2015.