Christmas is exactly ten days away, which means parents have a little over one week left to frantically drag their screaming children to the local mall or holiday venue to sit on Santa’s lap for that traditional picture. But where most parents would do this for a few years until their kids inevitably grow out of it, a pair of brothers decided they would keep the tradition going… for 34 years.
Yes, ever since 1980, the Gray brothers Mike and Martin have had their picture taken with Santa; although, to be fair, Martin didn’t join the fray until 1984. Still, from 1984 on, both brothers have gotten their picture taken together with good ol’ Saint Nick — starting when they were kids and now with their own children in tow.
When we got in touch with Martin to get permission to share the photos, we also asked him how it all started, and why they wound up deciding to keep it going well into adulthood when others might have put the tradition to rest. Here’s what he had to say:
The tradition started with my mother taking us to Santa’s village each year during Christmas shopping. We loved it because they had real reindeer and stuff.
Not sure if she knew it would get to this point but we couldn’t break the streak after it had gone for decades. It should be able to carry on into the future, that is until our children get embarrassed by us.
Here are all 34 years worth of photos, enjoy:
This year, Martin decided to share their 34-year album on Reddit and, surprise surprise, it took off. 2,700 upvotes and 480 comments later, and you realize the power of keeping a tradition alive, even one as seemingly silly as getting your photo taken with a mall Santa every year.
Image credits: Photographs courtesy of Martin and Mike Gray and used with permission.
Thanks for sending in the tip, Tom!