Many parents aim for that perfect picture of their children with Santa but it doesn't always go as planned.

Nicole Peterson's 18-month-old twins, Mack and Mace, were not so happy last year when they took a picture with Santa.

Afterwards she worked to help them become more comfortable with taking pics with St. Nick.
She searched online for tips and finally heard about “The Santa Experience” at the Mall of America.

She tried it out and had really good results, her now 2-year-olds, were smiling and calm.

"I always want a happy moment I always want a smile. I want that to reflect in my children. This is not who they are, ya know, they are happy kids and this reflects sadness, and of course I wanted a smile,” said Peterson.

“The Santa Experience” at the Mall of America, is a very intimate setting, with just parents and kids with Santa. That allows for kids to take their time warming up to Santa and taking a fun picture.

As you can imagine “The Santa Experience" is a popular place right now, so if you can't get in for a picture, Luther says pack your patience when you head to other area malls for a picture with Santa.

And do your homework ahead of time: Talk about Santa a lot and have them watch movies with Santa in them.

Hopefully this holiday season you too can have a happy picture.

Santa Larry -- the first African-American Santa at the Mall of America can also be seen at "The Santa Experience", go to to book an appointment or to be added to a waitlist.