Santa ‘snoozes’ with sleeping baby in viral photo

Posted at 11:56 AM, Dec 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-01 11:56:48-05

(CNN) — When Donnie and Kelly Walters took their son Zeke to take his first picture with Santa, they didn’t expect it would be a snooze fest.

Little Zeke had fallen asleep while waiting for Santa. Instead of waking up the 6-month-old, Santa suggested a more peaceful pose.

The resulting picture was “the cutest thing I’ve ever seen,” said Donnie Walters.

The adorable images of baby Zeke and Santa snuggled up together in an oversized green chair, appearing to have fallen asleep while reading “The Night Before Christmas,” went viral. The photos were shared over 200,000 times and reached over 300,000 likes after Walters posted them on his Facebook page.

Walters has taken advantage of the media publicity to share his enthusiasm for being a full-time stay-at-home parent. “It is extremely rewarding. Every waking moment with him is my favorite moment,” he told CNN.

The Walterses returned to the mall in Evansville, Indiana, this week to tell Santa about the social media phenomenon but by the time they tracked him down, baby Zeke had dozed off again.

While baby Zeke sleeps peacefully, he will have to rely on his parents to tell Santa what he wants. “He loves Elmo,” Zeke’s dad tells CNN.