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The best Santa experience. And the ugly.

The best:

Harbourtown Docklands

I park at Harbourtown when I go into the CBD, because it's $7 -$10 on a stay longer than an hour and has easy access to the City Circle tram.

On our way back from our city adventure yesterday, we were walking past the gorgeous cafe Le Cirque, where you can get your Santa photos done. Their set up is beautiful, as I was taking a quick snap.. Santa waved us over - there was no one else waiting at the time. So we approached him to say hello and we asked if we could show him a photo of a toy that Mr 4 had added to his list.

And this Santa - he was the Santa that is written about in books, complete with a rosy nose and smiling eyes. He didn't just sit there and have a quick look at the phone, he asked the photographer if she could pass him his phone so he could take photos of it so he remembers and then he showed Mr 4 that he had got the photos. It was absolutely heartwarming. He was so warm and friendy, it was a realy beautiful experience. If I hadn't already got Santa photos I would have definitely got them there. Their set up is great, and oh that Santa, I just want to give him a big hug.

Children getting their photo done also get a gift from Santa. I didn't pay attention to their prices, but it was just so so nice.

And then there was THIS:

2 weeks ago we got our Santa photos done at David Jones, Bourke St. It was an exciting day, both of the boys couldn't wait to meet Santa - we had earlier been searching the toy department so we could take some photos of the gifts that they were hoping for to show Santa.

We arrived at David Jones and I really do like their Magical Cave, but I think they had a less 'in your face' toy approach last year... we were served quickly with only a minute or so to wait. Customer Service was great.

We were then lead though to a room where I was shocked to see a Santa removing his beard in full view of my boys - he saw us and immediately closed the door. The boys seemed oblivious to it, I had hoped that they didn't see. We were then scurried through to the room where we took our photo. They were patient while we showed Santa the photos - and captured the cute exchange, and the experience was quite nice. I paid for the photos and was relatively happy with the end outcome- although that blue thing on the chair - on the actual prints of the photos you can see an outline of the 2007 which made me realise it doesn't say the year anywhere - except on the frame you get.

The boys didn't mention the beardless Santa so I thought - no harm no foul, I didn't complain at the time, I didn't want to make a fuss and draw more attention to what had happened. I also acknowledge that the reason we didn't have long to wait is because they have multiple Santas- but a lot more care should have been taken by Santa to make sure he was behind closed doors before he removed his beard.

Then yesterday, (16 days later!) Mr 4 told me that he saw Santa without his beard. I told him it must have been feeling a little bit scratchy and that was why he took it off. He seemed a little bit confused- like he was still trying to process what he had seen. I'm hoping that he isn't waiting until tomorrow to ask me why there was 2 Santas... Because I have no idea what to tell him...

So there you have a couple of our experiences - I couldn't imagine better than Harbourtown, I couldn't imagine worse that seeing Santa remove his costume in front of kids that are eager to see him! Good luck and feel free to share your Good Santa or Bad Santa experience in the comments on our page.

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