Mike and Mary Anderson

Mike and Mary Anderson are taking bookings for photo shoots with Santa. For a family with two children, a 15-minute session will cost about $50. (Messenger photo/Josh O'Bryant)

Mike Anderson of LaFayette is offering parents an option to trekking to the mall and waiting in long lines for family photos with Santa.

Anderson and his wife Mary have been portraying Santa and Mrs. Claus for years and they've invested a lot of money turning their home into a winter wonderland. Anderson's outbuilding is covered top-to-bottom in Christmas decor, making it look like Santa's workshop.

"It's a place for kids to come and have a little fun and take some pictures," Anderson said. "It's a different experience, a good experience, instead of standing in the line at a mall or something like that."

Anderson said the local Santa visit is more personable, making it especially beneficial for special needs children.

Interested parties or families are asked to email santaandmaryclaus.com for a reservation. Or call 423-596-0883 and leave a message if Santa Claus doesn't answer; he will get back with you to schedule a visit. The couple can also be contacted on Facebook at Santa and Mary Claus. Dates and times will vary and it is open for anyone to make a booking. The Anderson's will be taking bookings throughout the holiday season.

For a family with two children, a 15-minute session will cost about $50.

Parents and guardians are asked to bring their own cameras. Photographers are welcomed to come take pictures as well.

Josh O'Bryant is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He can be reached at the Walker County Messenger office at 706-638-1859 and by email at jobryant@npco.com.