Scary Santa Photo Contest

in Santa

I really loved putting together the Sweet Santa Photo Contest post.  Now more than ever, I so appreciated seeing all the sweet babes with their wonderful holiday smiles.  That being said… there is something really, really funny about Scary Santa photos.  I’m sure Scary Santa pics aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s kind of a childhood right of passage, isn’t it?  Trust me – I have my own Scary Santa pictures, and the 1985-version of me looks pretty damn funny as I scream in (poor, poor) Santa’s face.


I’m not sure why wee ones are so freaked out by Santa – maybe it’s the beard, maybe it’s the red suit, maybe it’s just the pressure of being ‘on’ in front of the camera.  But man, oh man – does Santa elicit some major freak outs.  Of course, Henry experienced his first Scary Santa moment last week.  I’m hoping next year is sweeter – when do kids figure out that Santa brings presents?  I bet that will turn his frown around!


The Scary Santa photos were judged based on the following categories:  the overall creepiness of Santa; Santa’s own freaked out expression; and the oh-so-dramatic expression on the kiddo’s face.


First up… The Scary Honorable Mentions


Jillian wrote,  “At least some of us were having fun…”


Christina wrote, “This is my daughter Annika when she was 2 years old, last year.  She hated Santa that year!”


Michaela wrote, “My son James completely flipping his shit. Santa is a scary dude.”


Erica wrote, “Here’s my son G, almost 9 months (how did that happen?) with his first visit to Santa today.  He was fine until Santa tickled him to get him to smile!”


Melissa wrote, “This is Brynn, age 2. She’s 9 now and it still makes me laugh!”


Holly wrote, “Sam is 4 months old in this one and could not get a smile out of him!”


Ali wrote, “To say Addie’s first Santa experience was a bust would be the understatement of the year! It was hands down the most terrified she’s ever been in her life. I felt bad, but it was also incredibly hilarious.”

Addie and Santa

Rachel wrote, “My 1 year old twins were not happy with Santa.”


Shannon wrote, “This is a classic!  3 years later she still won’t get near any Santa.  Poor Santa-he was really a good sport too!”


Kelly said, “This was not William’s first trip to see Santa (he’s 20 months) and it was indeed, still scary.  I had to jump in to hold him there.”


Megan wrote, “My little Isabelle wasn’t a fan – but I still love this picture!”


Kimberly said, “She was soooo excited to see him, well, until she actually “saw” him!”


Casey sent in this picture of her daughter Kendall.


Jessika wrote, “Eli met Santa for the first time last night, and he was not pleased.”


Barb wrote, “Here’s a picture from 1971.  I am on the left.  The crying baby is my sister Trish, who is 41 years old now!!!”


Julie wrote, “These are some of my most favorite pics of my daughter ever!  She’s 13 now.  She started off terrified of Santa but generally got better (and more serious) once she realized she needed to communicate to Santa what gifts she wanted him to bring.”


Simi wrote, “She wasn’t crying but she was frozen and not happy, she didn’t know what to do.”


Emily wrote, “This is a photo of my son, also named Henry, last year.  We haven’t even tried this year…”

Henry and Santa 2011

Charity wrote, “Here is my 4.5 month old Alexander. He’s afraid of strangers so I’m surprised he’s not screaming but he doesn’t look to sure of what’s going on.”


Katie said, “My Dad dresses up as Santa every year for his office Breakfast with Santa, and we were trying to get a Sweet Santa picture of them gazing at each other, but got this instead!  Oh well!”


Elizabeth wrote, “My daughter, Ashlyn is a pro!  We told her to smile no matter what Weston’s reaction was.  Weston on the other hand was terrified!  He, like Henry isn’t afraid of strangers but I think it was a combination of the beard and him being way overstimulated by all the noise and chaos at the mall.”

Ashlyn and Weston with santa


Robyn wrote, “This is actually a picture of me from when I was younger. I was pretty old to be that terrified and Santa looks to be hating his life!”


KT wrote, “This is Carlyn and Leah. Leah said hi to Santa but was not happy to have to sit on his lap! Love this picture!”


Callie shared this picture.


Courtney wrote, “These are my furry kids.  I get their photos taken every year with Santa and this is one of the best.”


And now… The Scary Santa Photo Finalists


Scary Santa #1 was chosen based on the sheer scariness of this Santa.  Rachel said, “I had to share this one from my childhood.  His eyes look creepy and that fake beard… ahh!  Santa’s have come a long way in 30 years…”


Scary Santa #2 was select because of Santa’s awesome “come on, kid” face and the baby girl’s hysterical expression.  Katherine sent this gem in!

photo (10)

And this is #3, our one furbaby finalist!  Laurel wrote, “So I don’t have kids, but I do have a dog. Dogma, our neighborhood dog store, does a Santa picture fundraiser each year for local animal rescue groups with a pet photographer named Jeanne Taylor. We’ve taken our dog Alice twice, and while Jeanne’s photos are gorgeous, Alice is completely freaked out by Santa.”

Alice and Santa 2011

Scary Santa #4 was chosen purely for Santa’s expression.  Jessica wrote, “I, of course, love my daughter’s get-me-out-of-here cry face but Santa’s I-hate-my-life face makes me laugh more.”


#5 earned a spot because of everyone’s silly faces.  Kristen wrote, “Our brand of crazy even scares Santa.”


Scary Santa #6 doesn’t need an explanation!  Nina said, “I don’t think much can top Vincent’s first meeting with Santa (although I know I’m biased). He is definitely a fan of the beard.”


And last, but not least, Scary Santa #7 wins a spot because of the juxtaposition of the two boys.  Hayley wrote, “These are my boys last year with Santa. Anthony was 4. He’s always loved Santa. Jackson was 2, and he’s still scared of Santa, though not as bad as last year.”


Now it’s your turn to choose a winner…  Which Scary Santa is the most classic – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7?  Can you tell I had trouble whittling it down?!  I’ll choose the winner on Friday.



  • Nelly December 19, 2012, 8:17 am

    # 6 is awesome!

  • Gina G December 19, 2012, 8:22 am

    Such a tough decision!! But I am going to go with #6!

  • Tara December 19, 2012, 8:24 am

    Ha, I would have to say 6! The look on Santa’s face is priceless!

    I don’t know when kids start liking Santa…our son is 2.5 years old and this year he even started talking about Santa and calling him “Grandpa” (my dad has a beard!), so we thought this might be the turning point. Nope, the minute he saw Santa at the kid’s Christmas party he grabbed our hands, turned around, and wanted to leave immediately. Sigh…there’s always next year!

  • Jen G. December 19, 2012, 8:25 am

    I can’t even decide — but definitely #5 or #6. Hilarious!

  • Candice December 19, 2012, 8:30 am

    I vote #6, Hilarious!

  • Sam @ Better With Sprinkles December 19, 2012, 8:34 am

    Tough one! I’d say #4…they both look so miserable!

  • laura December 19, 2012, 8:37 am

    i just laughed out loud SO HARD at all these photos. it is so mean that we put our precious kiddos through this, but it really is funny. i like that a lot of them are from people who are now 40 years old….see, it still provides entertainment years later! I am going to have to vote for #7, simply because his brother’s cheesy face is beyond adorable and he is soooo not interested in his younger brother wincing in extreme pain like he’s being kidnapped.. haha… at least one of them looks dapper 🙂

  • Verna December 19, 2012, 8:40 am

    I vote #4.

  • Whitney @ Yoga Pancake December 19, 2012, 8:40 am

    #4 is my favorite. That Santa looks like he had a little too much egg nog 🙂

  • Lesley December 19, 2012, 8:42 am

    OMG! #7 is hilarious

  • Lorelai December 19, 2012, 8:44 am

    Hahahahahaha. These are all hilarious. #7 is priceless!

    Winner though has to be… #4. So, so good.

  • Angie December 19, 2012, 8:46 am

    The winner has to be Santa #6.

  • Brittney December 19, 2012, 8:50 am

    This was a good way to start off my day, I was laughing through all these! I think you have to go with #6, hands down. What’s with Santa’s expression!?

  • Kristy @ Kristy's Health Revolution December 19, 2012, 9:01 am

    #6 obviously blows them all out of the water! It was a toss up until that one!

  • Beks December 19, 2012, 9:11 am

    It’s a tie between five and six. Those are fantastic!

  • Sara December 19, 2012, 9:12 am

    #6 made me laugh so hard I stomped my feet (at work, in my cubicle.) Ha ha ha! So #6 it is!

  • Jen Clark December 19, 2012, 9:14 am

    #6…definitely #6…LOL!!! Poor Santa and his beard!

  • KaraHadley December 19, 2012, 9:14 am

    My vote is #5, hands down.
    And I know I was always scared of Santa because I knew the mall Santa wasn’t the real deal and I was shy around strangers in general, so having to sit on a fake Santa’s knee and talk so close to him was just waaaaaay too much for me. Also, I’ve seen A Christmas Story about a million times, which is enough to scar a child from wanting to meet Santa.

  • Katie December 19, 2012, 9:19 am

    I have to vote for #2 since that’s my little girl! I didn’t even attempt it this year, since she has an aversion to all men with beards right now…but these pictures are hilarious!

  • Natalie @ Free Range Human December 19, 2012, 9:20 am

    Oh my goodness, it has to be #6! That’s hilarious!

  • Susan December 19, 2012, 9:23 am

    Number 2

  • Gen December 19, 2012, 9:26 am

    I vote for #2!!

  • Dee December 19, 2012, 9:28 am

    This contest was a great idea – these pics added some much needed LOLs to my morning. #6 is straight up hilarious.

  • Kelsie December 19, 2012, 9:30 am

    six! for sure

  • Katie December 19, 2012, 9:36 am

    Haha gotta love #6

  • TiffanyS December 19, 2012, 9:38 am

    Oh, gosh this was the best! 5 and 6 are both hilarious! I loved the descriptions from the mom’s too particulary the kid that flipped his shit’. LOL!

    • Michaela December 19, 2012, 3:41 pm

      That was me, lol. All the other descriptions are classy and here I come with my potty mouth! The description just fit the pic so well 🙂

  • Wendy December 19, 2012, 9:40 am

    #2 made me laugh out load but #4 Santa is pretty scary looking!!!!

  • Lisa December 19, 2012, 9:42 am

    I love them all! Especially 3, 5, 6 and 7!

    But I’d have to say 6 as well.

  • Amy @ Extracurricular Activities December 19, 2012, 9:43 am

    #6! Santa’s little “helper” – hilarious.

  • Alett December 19, 2012, 9:48 am

    I cannot decide #1 or #6

  • kristina December 19, 2012, 9:51 am


  • simi December 19, 2012, 9:55 am


  • Aerevyn Harteis December 19, 2012, 9:57 am

    Number six is hilarious, but for gothic scariness #5 takes the cake. Love it!

    At work, and tickled to be looking at this.

  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More December 19, 2012, 9:59 am

    I have no choice but to go with #6 – it literally had me CRACKING up!!

  • jen December 19, 2012, 10:04 am

    OMG this is so fabulous.

    toss up between 4 and 5.

  • Barbie December 19, 2012, 10:04 am


  • Ali December 19, 2012, 10:08 am

    Number 5 made me laugh out loud – 6 is a close second though.

  • Elisabeth December 19, 2012, 10:09 am

    Oh man…they’re all hilarious, but I’m thinking #5 is the funniest 😉

  • Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries December 19, 2012, 10:09 am

    They’re all great but #2 and #6 tie for my favorites!

  • Jess December 19, 2012, 10:14 am

    #6 – nice to see the ‘naughty’ kids get their own back on Santa 😛

  • Nina December 19, 2012, 10:15 am

    #6 of course!

  • Laurel December 19, 2012, 10:21 am

    Alice is my dog and I’m outrageously biased, so I must vote #3. But 2 and 6 are hilarious. And all of your readers have/were adorable kids!

  • Katya December 19, 2012, 10:25 am

    I vote for #6!
    these all made me laugh out loud….hilarious 🙂

  • Brit December 19, 2012, 10:35 am

    HAHAHA! I loved the fur babies right before the finalists. That dog’s eyes had me spitting out my coffee 🙂

    • Laura December 19, 2012, 10:10 pm

      I know! It was my favorite of the honorable mentions 🙂

  • Eli's Mom December 19, 2012, 10:41 am

    #2 definitely

  • Kendra @ My Full-Thyme Life December 19, 2012, 10:45 am

    So hard!!!! I’m going with #4.

  • Ms. D December 19, 2012, 10:45 am


  • Megan December 19, 2012, 10:50 am

    #2 for sure!!

  • Nicole @ December 19, 2012, 10:54 am

    My favorite is #4…the dog one in the honorable mentions made me laugh out loud. I LOVE all of these soooooo much!!!!!!!!!

  • Kiki December 19, 2012, 11:02 am

    #4 (although #6 is great too)!

  • Emily December 19, 2012, 11:03 am

    I can’t decide again! #2, 4, and 6 are all SUCH great pictures (well, you know, for this kind of contest). I think I’m going to go #6…that’s one Santa who’s used to kiddos pulling on his beard!

  • Kelly December 19, 2012, 11:07 am

    Love them all, but #4 is my favorite, that poor guy looks miserable! LOL

  • Rosetta December 19, 2012, 11:12 am

    My vote is for #2!

  • Jessica M J December 19, 2012, 11:19 am

    Would it be bad to vote for my own daughter? I better, so #4!

  • Cayce December 19, 2012, 11:20 am

    Gotta throw my vote in for #3. Dogma is the canine answer to Tard the Grumpy cat. So cute!

  • Dawn December 19, 2012, 11:21 am

    number 6 all the way. Though 2 and 3 make me laugh so hard I was coughing

  • Becky December 19, 2012, 11:25 am


  • Abby December 19, 2012, 11:25 am

    Funny! I don’t know what it was but all the sweet santas yesterday were freakin me out! Maybe santas are kinda turning into the scary clowns for me! :). I’ll vote #6.

  • Becky December 19, 2012, 11:27 am

    #4—because they both look miserable

  • Ashley December 19, 2012, 11:28 am

    #6, hands down!!!!! : )

  • Jessica December 19, 2012, 11:31 am

    #5 or #6 simply for Santas’ faces- I actually cracked up laughing at both of those!

  • Lindsey December 19, 2012, 11:32 am

    These are great, but hands down #7 is the funniest. None of the others even compare!

  • Michael December 19, 2012, 11:32 am

    4 or 6? Gotta go 4

  • Stephanie December 19, 2012, 11:40 am

    Absoltely #6!

  • Hannah December 19, 2012, 11:42 am


  • Chantal December 19, 2012, 11:45 am

    I’m picking 6, but 7 is great too!

  • Jessica December 19, 2012, 11:52 am

    #6….. too funny!

  • Amy @Foodie4Healing December 19, 2012, 11:55 am

    #6 actually made me LOL, so I’m voting for that one!

  • Amanda. December 19, 2012, 11:59 am


  • Paul December 19, 2012, 12:04 pm

    Number 7 is awesome.

  • Regina December 19, 2012, 12:09 pm


    The last one of honorable mentions though really had me laughing simply because the dogs eyes are HUGE in terror. The little boy in #7 of the finalists is absolutely adorable! OMG look at that smile and his hands crack me up.

  • Charitydawn December 19, 2012, 12:10 pm

    Love #6 🙂

  • Karen @ Runner Girl Eats December 19, 2012, 12:13 pm

    I laughed out loud this entire post! Love all of them. I think 6 and 7 are amazing but will have to go with #7 🙂

  • Alexa @ The Girl In Chucks December 19, 2012, 12:21 pm


    Every time I look at it I start cracking up!! XD

  • Amanda December 19, 2012, 12:26 pm

    I have to choose #4. Both the baby and Santa are hating life!

  • Dominique December 19, 2012, 12:30 pm

    I vote for #6. I can’t wait to show my husband. He had a beard and our 6 month old pulls his beard all the time.

  • Rachel December 19, 2012, 12:54 pm

    HA HAHA! Mine was the #1 scary santa, but I have to say that #6 takes the cake as the most hilarious “Scary Santa”! I can’t stop laughing…

  • Donna December 19, 2012, 12:54 pm

    I pick 2!

  • FitBritt@MyOwnBalance December 19, 2012, 1:24 pm

    Ahh so hard. #2 or #6…. I see a lot of votes for 6 so I’m going to go with #2! Plus its also kinda adorable!

  • Jordan December 19, 2012, 1:27 pm

    #2 for sure

  • Josie December 19, 2012, 1:28 pm

    #2 or #3 !!! But all these photos are hillarious!

  • Janna December 19, 2012, 1:46 pm

    Have you seen this santa picture? So funny.

  • Barbara December 19, 2012, 1:53 pm

    OMG love these. Voting for #7

  • Jolene (Homespun Heritage) December 19, 2012, 2:27 pm


  • Jennifer Bailey December 19, 2012, 2:38 pm

    #4 Santa looks like he has enought of crying babies

  • Juli December 19, 2012, 2:41 pm

    #6! It had me laughing so hard!

  • Shana December 19, 2012, 2:41 pm


  • Jill December 19, 2012, 3:07 pm

    #6. Priceless!

  • Chelsea December 19, 2012, 3:08 pm


  • Stephanie December 19, 2012, 3:27 pm

    #6 for sure! That’s too funny!

  • Hayley December 19, 2012, 4:05 pm

    I have to vote for my boys, #7. We just had their pic taken with Santa last weekend (the pic above is from last year) and actually got smiles from both of them, though Jackson was still hesitant 🙂

  • Julie December 19, 2012, 4:22 pm

    Oh, this is hard! I think I have to go w/ #7.

  • Samantha December 19, 2012, 4:27 pm

    Number 6!!

  • hilary December 19, 2012, 4:31 pm


  • Maria December 19, 2012, 4:37 pm

    This is hilarious and the comments to the photos are so funny. It’s hard to choose one of them but #6 stand out.

  • Kim December 19, 2012, 5:12 pm

    #6, but #2 was a close second.

  • Hayley December 19, 2012, 5:14 pm

    I love #6, but I have to go with #1. What a creeper.

  • Tricia December 19, 2012, 5:16 pm


  • Michele December 19, 2012, 6:01 pm

    I like 2!

  • Emily December 19, 2012, 6:16 pm

    #2 and #6 are the best, but I have to go with #2 because Santa’s the one who looks scared in #6!

  • Megan December 19, 2012, 6:38 pm

    HHAHAHAAAA!!!!! 6!!!!

  • Hannah M December 19, 2012, 6:47 pm

    My vote is for #4. Santa’s face is too much!!

  • Kelly December 19, 2012, 7:01 pm

    Definitely #6!

  • Emily December 19, 2012, 7:18 pm

    Definitely number one, Santa looks so creepy lol

  • Angela December 19, 2012, 7:20 pm

    I think I choose #6…because how ironic is it that his shirt says santa’s helper?! Too funny.

  • Christy Jen December 19, 2012, 7:23 pm

    # 6!!!!!!!

  • Amber K December 19, 2012, 8:13 pm

    I have to say #6 mostly because I feel so bad that he has authenticity with a real beard, and will live to regret that decision!

  • Emily J December 19, 2012, 8:29 pm


  • Wendy B. December 19, 2012, 8:55 pm

    No. 4 gets my vote.

  • Emily December 19, 2012, 9:51 pm

    6 or 7 for sure!!

  • Laura December 19, 2012, 10:09 pm

    6! It couldn’t have been more awesome if it had been planned 🙂

  • Jamie December 19, 2012, 11:26 pm

    #6, without a doubt! My husband and I were cracking up when we saw that! My husband and I had some great laughs going through these.

  • Marissa C December 20, 2012, 1:03 am

    #6, Hands down. Sorry, I just cant get into dog/Santa pictures.

  • Michelle @ Lifewithacrazypup December 20, 2012, 7:40 am

    Number 6!

  • Tricia December 20, 2012, 7:45 am

    I wish we had a photo like this of my niece!!! She is 7 with special needs and she won’t even get NEAR Santa. My vote is #4. Santa’s I hate my life look, combined with the I am screaming so hard my face is going to rip off child sealed the deal!

  • Katy @ HaveYouHurd December 20, 2012, 8:23 am

    6! Hilarious!

  • Bobbie December 20, 2012, 10:53 am

    #6 is by far the best!!! The fact that little Vincent’s shirt calls him “Santa’s Little Helper”..too funny!!!
    Scary Santa #1 is a very close 2nd though!

  • Stevie December 20, 2012, 11:12 am

    #6 is hilarious! The fact that the baby is a wearing a “Santa’s Helper” shirt makes it even better.

  • Vicki December 20, 2012, 12:30 pm


  • Amy December 20, 2012, 1:27 pm

    It’s a toss up between #4 and #6 — both are equally disturbing!!! No wonder kids are scared of santa!

  • jennifer December 20, 2012, 6:30 pm

    Number 6! That is the best santa face I have ever seen!

  • Claire December 20, 2012, 8:17 pm

    SOOOOO hard…..6 or 7!

  • Heather December 20, 2012, 8:24 pm

    i think #5!! love santa’s expression

  • Maddy December 20, 2012, 9:05 pm

    I was never subjected to this as a child, and clearly I missed out!
    My favourite is #6, though #4 is a close second!

  • Laura December 21, 2012, 12:23 am


  • Miranda December 21, 2012, 5:56 am

    #3!! Look at the frown!

  • j-dogg December 21, 2012, 9:33 am

    #6 made me laugh the most, so it gets my vote

  • Emily December 21, 2012, 10:52 am


  • Lindsey December 21, 2012, 11:44 am

    I laughed the whole way through this post! All are hilarious, but I’m going with #6 !

  • Laura December 21, 2012, 1:26 pm

    Definitely #6!

  • Erin December 21, 2012, 2:12 pm

    I vote fot #6 – hands-down winner!

  • jameil December 21, 2012, 2:33 pm

    #5 Because EVERYONE looks shell-shocked and road weary. LOLOL #6 was a very close 2nd.

  • Cristina December 21, 2012, 6:05 pm


  • Sharisse December 21, 2012, 6:20 pm

    I like #2… For such a tiny baby, that’s a lot of expression!

  • Val December 21, 2012, 7:38 pm

    definitely #6!

  • Abbey April 10, 2014, 10:17 am

    Hey there, Caitlin! I am job searching and just noticed when I google myself, my image from this contest comes up! It seems either you or I saved the file name with my first and last name. I know this is a pain, but I was wondering if you could either change the file name or take the picture down? I’d really appreciate it!

    • Caitlin April 11, 2014, 2:59 pm

      Edited! Good luck Abbey!

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