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At this Santa sitting, Santa sits on you. Credit: Ripley's Believe It or Not! Times Square.

By Erin Behan

The tradition of sitting on Santa’s lap is so engrained in American culture that we hardly even question it: What adults don’t cherish that embarrassing childhood photo of themselves making an awkward face in a Christmas sweater on an ample Kris Kringle?

Well, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in New York has turned the tables on ye olde tradition — and it’s about time. Their Santa will sit on your lap, an endeavor Ripley’s is calling “Reverse Santa.” The family holiday portrait may never be the same. Take home a photo of the blessed event, whether as a print, on a key chain or on a magnet, and don’t forget one for Grandma.

Thrill-seekers can get sat on by Santa at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! in Times Square on Saturdays from Dec. 3 to Dec. 24, as wellas Dec. 26 and 29, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets for entry to the attraction are available online at a 20 percent discount.

Of course, once you’re there, you might as well see some of the more famous items on display at the Odditorium, from the six-legged cow to the miniature matchstick Spanish Armada fleet to the pickled tourist heads (yes, they do have a rather active sense of humor here).

And, from Nov. 28 through Dec. 20, anyone can submit an embarrassing Santa’s lap photo on Facebook for a chance to win tickets into Ripley’s, prizes and more. See the New York Ripley’s Facebook page for details.

If you’re looking for a New York hotel in Times Square, try the nearby Westin New York at Times Square, the W New York Times Square or the Hotel 41 Times Square.

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Erin Behan is a freelance writer and editor out of Brooklyn, N.Y., who counts good food, intoxicating drink and adventurous travel among her favorite things.

Tagged: Events, Family, Tips & advice

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