12 Santas who scared the living daylights out of babies

Santa drinking water

We get you, little ones.

As I was scrolling through Facebook the other day, a photo popped up on my News Feed that made me feel equal parts holiday cheer and empathy. My best friend had taken her son to see Santa for the first time, and he really, really did not like it.

Jennifer Lindley

You can almost hear her son’s screams through the photograph, while his cousin sits beside him completely unfazed. (Clearly he knows enough not to be naughty in the lap of the man in charge of delivering Christmas presents.)

Each year, Santa scares children everywhere—and I mean, who can blame them, really? Between huge, often fake, beards and scratchy red pants, Santas really can be quite terrifying. 

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#scaredofsanta #maybenextyear @bababekkerus

A photo posted by Emily Bekkerus (@embekk12) on

My poor baby! #firsttimemeetingsanta #christmas #scaredofsanta

A photo posted by Monica Gonzalez💋 (@monicadg4) on

Yep she is terrified!! Haha poor girl!! #scaredofsanta #biggirl

A photo posted by Emily Chang (@emisjourney17) on

Some Santas are cool with it. Others have perhaps held just one too many teary tots.

Pets don’t like Santa either. This dog is clearly thinking, “You, sir, should stay in the chimney.”

And some folks are reliving their own memories of being scared off Santa’s knee.

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Santas scaring babies is as much a part of the holiday tradition as Santa himself. And while we feel bad laughing at the stress it causes the children, it’s so hard not to giggle when watching the adorable kids trying to squirm away from the man they’ll eventually revere as the one who brings them presents. 

Photo via  Susan NYC/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Selena Larson

Selena Larson

Selena Larson is a technology reporter based in San Francisco who writes about the intersection of technology and culture. Her work explores new technologies and the way they impact industries, human behavior, and security and privacy. Since leaving the Daily Dot, she's reported for CNN Money and done technical writing for cybersecurity firm Dragos.