How To Catch Santa Claus, According To 12 Really Clever Kids

Some of these ideas are really bold.

For generations, children the world over have been going to bed on Christmas Eve wondering if they might just catch a glimpse of jolly old Saint Nick in action. Some of them try to stay up all night, only to pass out just before his arrival. Others leave treats for Santa and his reindeer to enjoy, possibly in hopes that Kris Kringle will reveal himself to them. But year after year, Santa always manages to evade his would-be captors. So in preparation for the big day, we consulted some experts (and by experts of course, we mean kids) just how they would catch Santa. And you know? They had some pretty interesting ideas.

Try Putting Out Some Bait

Many of the experts we consulted talked about setting some bait out for Santa. Being Santa, that mostly meant milk and cookies.

“I would leave a trail of cookies and put a ton of cookies at one spot where he would step on a button that triggers an alarm to wake me up so I can catch him,” says 7-year-old Henry D. of Pennsylvania. Not a bad way to go, though he didn’t quite explain how he’d go about catching Santa, only that he’d set bait and an alarm.

Eight-year-old Ellie T. of Denver, Colorado says she’d also set a trap with milk and cookies — but these would be attached to a string. Why?

“So when he took a cookie or drank the milk, the string would pull the door closed, trapping him in the room, and making a loud noise to wake me up and find him,” says little Ellie. Similar concept, though I’m unclear about what door she means.

Calvin A. of Omaha, Nebraska is also hell-bent on this bait scheme.

“You know those rope things they use in Scooby Doo where you step in the circle of rope and a trap comes down? I would put cookies and milk by the rope and then he would step on a secret pressure plate and just whoop! Got him,” says the 7-year-old.

Set More Elaborate Traps

Some kids, er, experts went above and beyond on just how they’d catch Santa.

Anvr, Getty images

Eight-year-old Liam R. of Denver thought it might be best to go Rube Goldberg style with his trapping device.

“I would find a way to create a chain reaction where when he puts the first present, it would be a trap,” says Liam, alluding to the moment Santa finds himself under the tree. “There would be a pulley system, and it would catch him, and ring a bell, and then I would wake up and see him.”

Six-year-old Myah P. of Hopewell, Pennsylvania also had a pretty creative idea to catch Santa.

"Put a lot of big boxes by the fireplace with double sided tape so when he comes down he'll fall into the boxes, get stuck, and the top will close on him,” says Myah. They say they’ll only keep him there overnight, however.

“In the morning, I'll bring cookies when I look inside so I don't get on the bad list," Myah says.

Gioia K. of Connecticut had one of the most elaborate plans we’ve ever heard, though.

“I would build a slide. And in the slide I’d have an invention that would scan his body so I could know what he looked like. Then I would put a microchip in his neck,” says the 7-year-old.

Wait, a what?

“He’d probably pass out for a minute because he was scared after the slide, and that’s when I’d microchip him,” says Gioia matter-of-factly. “Then I could track him whenever I wanted.”

Not sure if that means she’d kidnap him and track him so he doesn’t escape, or if it was more of a catch-and-release deal, but we give five stars for creativity here for sure.

Or Keep It Simple, Silly

Some experts felt it was best to keep their Santa catching plans fairly simple.

"I would teleport to his sleigh and take him and bring him home," says 5-year-old Martez R. of New Jersey, not really explaining where he’d get this teleportation device.

Per Breiehagen, Getty images

Pennsylvania resident Daniel H. said he just needed one clear shot at catching Santa.

"I would just shoot a grappling hook at the back of his sleigh, then attach the grappling hook gun to a tree," says Daniel. Of course, of course.

And finally, 3-year-old Naarah M. (also of Pennsylvania) had a simple explanation, inspired by one-too-many viewings of Frozen II: “I will take my ice horse and chase him faster and faster and throw a net over him and tell him STOP SANTA!!”

Yeah, I guess an ice horse would likely stop Santa in his tracks.

But What Happens When Santa Can’t Finish Delivering Presents?

Ten-year-old William K. of Connecticut realized it likely wouldn’t be wise to catch Santa long-term.

“I would build a device that would close the flue behind him after he came down the chimney,” says William. “But I’d just capture him long enough to meet him. Then I’d let him go.”

Amelia T. of Pittsburgh was also concerned about what would happen if she held onto Santa for too long.

“I would place a red stone under the ground, and a lever on the roof, and then there would be some fake lights that are actually wires that hang below the roof. And so when Santa lands on the roof, he steps on the lever and falls into the wires,” says Amelia, age 6. “But I don’t want to trick Santa because who would give us presents?”

Not all the experts felt that catching Santa would have strong repercussions, however.

Three-year-old Finley T. of Crescent, Pennsylvania plans to catch Santa by using a big net. When asked if other kids would be sad due to her Santa kidnapping scheme, she had this to say: “Every store has (a Santa)! Make one of those dudes deliver the presents!”

Or Just Catch Him Tim Burton-Style

At the end of the day, only one team of kids has ever successfully caught Santa, that I’m aware of: Lock, Shock, and Barrel of The Nightmare Before Christmas.

While they initially discuss Santa-catching plans that might involve setting a trap with a gate, putting Santa in a boiling pot and buttering him up, bringing a cannon to Santa’s door, or leaving a “present” on his door to pop out of, they eventually just show up at Santa’s workshop and toss him into a bag.

Could it be as easy as that? Possibly! But for now, you’ve got plenty of time to come up with your own ways to catch Santa come Christmas eve, and we dare you to be as creative as our experts were.