Top 10 Ways Kids are Scared of Santa


Editor’s note: Republishing this as a new list for 2012. It is one of my favorite Christmas lists. Hope you enjoy it. 


Who doesn’t love the time-honored tradition of having their child pictured on Santa’s lap? Nothing is more cute than to see little Timmy or Sally smiling brightly on Santa’s lap while sharing their most heart-felt wishes and desires for Christmas morning. Of course, this is the stuff of Hollywood. More often than not, this special event is tainted by the horrifying screams of children forced to sit on a strange man’s lap while having it documented forever. Documented for your viewing pleasure, I should add.

There are many lists showing large numbers children-scared-of-Santa photographs but I have decided to break it down into scientific categories. After looking through hundreds upon hundreds of frightened children crying on Santa’s lap I noticed some patterns. My time is your reward as I show you the top 10 Ways  to be Scared of Santa. See how truly scary Santa can be on this related list.

All Santa photos can be clicked to view a larger image.

Bloody Murder Scream

The purest showing of terror: The Bloody Murder Scream. These children held nothing back and let their primal terror be heard. Will the screaming ever end? Not if Jolly Saint Nick has anything to say about it.

The Screaming Choir

Anytime you subject more than one child to a scarring event such as sitting on Santa’s lap, why not add another child to the fun. Multiple children mean multiple screaming. The unholy cacophony reaches the North Pole.

No Escape

Some Moms are sadistic enough in their blind desire to see their child sit with Saint Nick that they forcibly hold their screaming child in near the red stranger. Hello, Mommy Dearest.

Slip Sliding Away

As all parents know, the young child’s best escape plans involve the slip-through or the arm raise. This simple maneuver allows the child to slide effortlessly from any grip Santa may have. Let gravity and a limp body do the work.

The Scream and Reach

When screaming and pleading has failed, the next step involves reaching out for help, and so we have the scream and reach. Unfortunately the person who you are reaching for is the one that put you there. You are grasping for straws…and therapy years later.

What’s Your Problem?

Sometimes one child is brave enough to smile or they may actually be enjoying this Christmas tradition so much they are either oblivious or don’t care that their sibling is having a mini-coronary. One child screams and the other wonders what all the ruckus is about. And by the way, the looks on these Santa faces are the best of the bunch.

Scream and Stare

Sometime you scream into the void but sometimes you cannot look away from the horror. Looking at the man in the red hat while crying for the moment to be over may be the longest 2 minutes of your young life. When its over you know you have looked evil in the eye and have been changed forever.

WTF or I Will Not Cry, As God is my Witness…

These kids have refused to give into the fear, but they still are wrapped in an uneasiness that can’t be denied. So while the terror that wells within them is trapped, it still lays in their stomachs like cold dead rotting carcass.

I Gotta Get Outta Here

Some brave children know that the only way to avoid the red Satan, I mean Santa, is to run. And run they do, escaping with their lives and, if they are lucky, their sanity. Of course, good ol’ Mom or Dad will soon be dragging their limp bodies back for more.

This Ain’t Worth Minimum Wage

Here is a shout out to all the Santa Clauses who have given up after hours upon hours of crying, screaming, wetting, begging, fighting and loud children. The looks on these dejected, worn out and exhausted Santa faces say it all.

And finally, my favorite picture. A face only a mother could love.

Here is a movie with even more great pictures of kids crying at Santa.

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  1. This year my daughter's photo contained the 'pointing finger of accusation' where she is being held in place and pointing to the photographer with a 'you are the reason this is happening, I won't forget you' look.

  2. The middle picture of "I Gotta Get Outta Here", the poor victim child who managed to get away looking dead into the camera in all her (I think her!) terror while the two torturers who are doing this to her – mom and Santa – are in the background smiling, is an absolute masterpiece. It should be in a museum of photography.

  3. Oops! Upon closer inspection, that's not mom, that's Mrs. Santa! My bad, but they're still torturers. : )

  4. i'm looking at this at work and im trying so hard not to laugh out loud, everyone must think i'm crying! this is so excellent!!! great collection of lists!

  5. when i saw the title for this list on the home page i was wondering what it meant..i thought it might have been worded wrong or maybe the list was going to be something that i wasn’t familiar with…but seeing the pics and the descriptions..i laughed out loud cuz you see this all the time….what i like are the look on the santas’ faces with the screaming children..they either try to maintin that trained smile, or they have that look of…this is how may day has about you?….great list and wonderfully put together..Merry Christmas to all contributors both making the lists and all who comment on them…take care and God bless

  6. I DON’T find it cute, or funny. I think it is CRUEL! The children are TERRIFIED—as well they should be. Make mom and dad sit on some blood colored ALIEN’S lap! (Yes, I am a mother and grandmother—I never thought it was fun or cute to torture or scare my children! I wouldn’t tolerate someone deliberately threatening my child—so why would I “turn on them” (in their little terrified minds). I’ll bet 90% of the visceral cry of angry teens, I HATE YOU—started right here.

    Santa quickly becomes acceptable soon enough, and they will sit willingly.

    Until then give your child a break, give poor Santa a break, and give other parents listening a break—-and for the toddler watching all this, and clinging closer and closer to my leg—what can I say in answer to their, “Why is that MOMMY doing that?!” Insanity?! Mean? Warped sense of h umor? God only knows, Child. But no, I will not MAKE you go sit on some S T R A N G E alien-looking thing’s lap—let go of my leg.

    Santa IS SCARY—-you’re just “use” to him–look at him objectively-!—nothing about him looks like ANYTHING walking around on earth to a young child.

  7. I was a ‘Santa’s suckhole’ which is what my much older sibs called me when I was growing up. Almost every photo with Santa has me crying,starting to cry or sitting stoically post crying fit with a beet red face and swollen eyes. My sister closest to my age was always in the photo with me.She usually is laughing or smiling with a devilish glint in her eyes. I didn’t hate my parents for making me sit on Santa’s lap.The older kids always told me they had to do it so I had to do it ,too. I really believe it is helpful for kids to be able to see that they survived this scary thing. Kids today are coddled too much. Being scared won’t kill them and in time the Santa scaries abate when they grow up enough to see Santa for what he is. The photos have become priceless treasures for me now that I’m an adult.

  8. Or have your children watch the latest installment of “Family Guy”….”Stewie And Brian Go To The North Pole”. Family Guys Christmas Special. I just did and I loved it !!!!!!!!!! Your children may not, however.

  9. Just another piece of proof that a lot of children are scared of Santa. Hopefully, your trip to visit St. Nick will go much better than everyone of these. Either way, you’ll definitely have a holiday memory to cherish.

  10. I agree with Vic. While we adults might find this darkly amusing, it ain’t amusing to the kid. And it’s certainly not amusing to the store’s Santa.

    My parents didn’t take me to see a Santa until I was about three, and I was actually looking forward to it at the time. No trauma here. And Tam, it’s not “coddling” to not force your kid, it’s common sense.

  11. I just watched “Looper” the other day, and now I’m a bit confused about this time travel thing. Is it really 2912 now? I’m sure I should get a new laptop then, this one is from 2011.

  12. It must be really hard to be a Santa on the holidays. My son always screamed and cried when he saw Santa

  13. The third picture in WTF or I Will Not Cry, As God is my Witness… The little girl’s face is priceless! xD
    She looks so sad and innocent!