It's a firmly established tradition, the photo of the kids with Santa. It's also a given that the children in the photos will be scared to death, having been passed from loving arms into the lap of a stranger who looks like no one ever seen in a little kid's life.
I've been gathering up our family Santa photos from the 1940s and 1950s. Some are of Bill and his little brother, Ron; and some are of me. I'll show them here over the next couple of weeks.
The photo covers from Bill and Ron's Santa experiences were very retro. One was even done by Leonard Weisgard, who became familiar to me as a children's book illustrator when, much later, I became a children's librarian. Here are three of those covers:
And here is the first in a series of photos of the frightened children in our family, learning about this most peculiar of Christmas traditions. We start with poor little baby Ronnie, who can't believe his eyes:
I will show you more photos in a couple of days.