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Mall Santa Makes the Best of Sleeping Baby with Adorable Photoshoot — Twice!

Image Source: Donnie Walters
Image Source: Donnie Walters

Taking your baby to see Santa can be a hit or miss experience that can either end in amazing photos … or a screaming baby. But for one Indiana family, a very special Santa had an incredible idea that resulted in the sweetest holiday pictures we’ve ever seen.

It all started when Donnie and Kelli Walters decided to take their 6-month-old son, Zeke, to the mall to have his picture taken with Santa. Kelli’s parents were also in town, so the whole family took off to the Eastland Mall in their hometown of Evansville, IN.

Speaking to Babble, Donnie explained that St. Nick was on a break when their group arrived at around 3 PM, so Kelli decided to feed Zeke and let him nap while they waited. But instead of promptly falling asleep, Zeke wanted to sit up and smile at everyone who walked by. Naturally, by the time they got in line, he started to get sleepy.

“He started to yawn, and when there was just one other family in front of us, he gave out the biggest yawn and his head came crashing down on my shoulder — he was out,” Donnie told Babble.

Image Source: Donnie Walters
Image Source: Donnie Walters

Donnie and his family discussed exiting the line and coming back when their little one was awake. But just as they were about to leave, a woman in line interjected, telling them to stay and take the pictures anyway because this Santa is, quite simply, amazing. And just a few moments later, Santa himself came over to relay an important message: “Please don’t wake that baby,” he said. “I’ve got the perfect pictures that we can do.”

When it was the Walters’ turn, Santa reclined like he had fallen asleep as Kelli carefully lay their baby boy across his lap. “He kind of woke up as she was doing the transfer, but as soon as he got on Santa’s side, he was fast asleep again,” Donnie remembered.

And while the family knew the photos were cute, they had no idea how viral they would become when Donnie posted it to his Donnie’s Daddy Daycare page on Facebook (which was initially followed by friends and family, but has blossomed to over 9,000 followers — and counting!).

The story doesn’t end there, though.

Just yesterday, the family traveled back to the mall to tell Santa Claus how touched everyone has been by these special photos, and as luck would have it, baby Zeke fell asleep again! Resulting in yet another adorable photo.

Image Source: Donnie Walters
Image Source: Donnie Walters

A photo with Santa is always a treasured memory for a family and something delightful for a child to look back on as they grow up. But with the amount of people who have been touched by these priceless pics, Donnie is happy that little Zeke will have even more to look back on. “It’s very exciting,” Donnie told Babble. “It’s something he’ll be able to have in his memories forever.”

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