Respect the bird.
I normally don’t discuss anything “Christmas” until after Thanksgiving dinner with the relatives. I don’t listen to songs, I don’t shop and I certainly avoid all Santa talk.
However last week I found an opening to a “Sensory Friendly Santa” event nearby. And that’s how, in the middle of November, we were heading to a local mall to see the man in the red suit.
This is the third year we have participated in such an event. I really like these events for children with special needs. First off, these private events normally happen before the mall officially opens so there are a lot less people. Families register in advance and get their time slot. The loud music piped through the speakers is either turned down or off. And while there will be a line at some point to wait to see Santa, it’s nowhere near the mayhem you experience otherwise.
It makes the experience better for B, because he’s not as overwhelmed with the extra stimuli that swirl around the holiday season. Which, as you know, makes it A LOT easier for all of us.
This year, we went to a different mall, which had a different setup. It was an “Ice Palace” theme – you walked past polar bears, some videos, and some other fun stuff before you go into a snow globe structure where the “snow” falls gently down from the ceiling. As you emerge you are thisclose to getting to see Santa!
I thought this year Mayita would be back on Santa’s lap. Last year, she freaked out and there was no picture of her on Santa’s lap. She seemed interested this year, even as Santa came walking through the mall. They waited their turn…but when it was our shot she buried her face in Husband’s shoulder.
Good thing the coordinator already suggested the “Santa hide behind the sofa” bit before we got up there. We quickly had Santa “hide” and showed Mayita that no one was there. We arranged them on the couch and the photographer shot away. She didn’t realize “he” was there until the end, and she was not happy about that.
Anyway, the bonus was the “Ice Princess” – a lovely young woman dressed all in white who also had her own ice throne. I bet that was chilly. B loved her…as I’m sure he would.
Afterwards we were treated to coffee and continental breakfast from the Corner Bakery. A nice treat because the kids chowed down on the muffins! Meanwhile, Husband and I were grateful for the free cup of caffeine. 🙂