When my daughter was little, I took her to the local department store’s photographer for pictures each year. I also took her to see and be photographed with Santa. She is a ham, and liked having her picture taken. But one year, she rebelled. She turned red and cried like crazy. No one can top her for drama.

The elves were horrified. They wanted to take pictures of smiling, happy children chatting with Santa. Ann would have none of it. She was wailing. The elves tried to distract her with toys. She only cried louder. They smiled and joked, all the while apologizing to me for her mood.

I told them not to worry and to stop trying to make her happy. This was who she was on at that moment. A photograph of her crying and turning bright pink while on Santa’s lap was an accurate portrayal of her visit.

The elves and Santa were stunned into silence. They could not believe that I wanted them to take the picture while she was throwing a fit. Why not? A photograph is intended to capture a moment, an event and a mood. While it would not make me happy if all of her pictures showed her cranky, unhappy or screaming, this one time, it was fine.

Although my daughter is happy by nature, she can have her cranky times. She is, after all, a drama queen without equal. I have the photograph to prove it.

Do all of your kids’ Santa pictures show bright smiling faces?