Meeting Santa Clause

December 4th, 2008

You’re standing in line anticipating what fun it will be to finally introduce your child to the man in the big red suit.  The fond childhood memories of previous meetings with him are running through your mind and you smile as you think about what toys your little one might ask Santa for Christmas.

The line is getting shorter and you make arrangements to buy some pictures to share with Grandma and Grandpa.  Eagerly you flex your fingers and scoop to put your little one on the big man’s knee.  As the photographer is getting ready to do her stuff, your little one takes a good look at Santa and is shocked to find a big old hairy, scary stranger complete with wrinkles and white hair.  Your little one’s mouth takes the shape of a big black hole to scream “Mommy I want to go Home!”

Meeting Santa Clause is a significant event that requires preparation.  From the time our children are tots, we strive to teach them about stranger danger.  Is it any wonder that they become confused when we plop them on some stranger’s knee and expect them to enjoy the experience?  A little coaching beforehand can go a long way to make the Santa Clause experience both memorable and enjoyable.  Here are some tips to prepare your child for the big meeting with Santa Clause.

1.     Show your child a picture of Santa Clause and ask them if they know who he is.  Share your own personal views about Santa Clause with your child.

2.    Ask your child if they would like to meet Santa Clause in person and visit with him about what they would like for Christmas.  Explain that you will both have to wait in line and be patient while the other boys and girls take a turn having their visit.  Be sure to pack snacks and drinks to ease any hunger pains that are sure to develop.

3.    Explain to your child that a Santa Clause in person is much bigger than the Santa Clause in the picture.  Describe a live Santa Clause in detail and ask your child if he or she would be too scared meet the jolly man.  If the answer is yes, save your money and don’t go.

4.    If your child agrees that he or she would like to meet Santa Clause, explain that you are going to arrange to have some pictures taken of them while sitting on Santa’s knee and it is very important that they smile their very best.

5.    Go easy on your budget and have them come up with just one or two items to ask Santa for Christmas.  Let them know they can ask Santa two or three questions about his home, his red suit and his reindeer.

Santa Clause is a classic tradition that spans generations.  However, children are smart and they can often sense that a mall Santa Clause is not necessarily the “real” Santa Clause. Below are some cute questions they may come away asking:

1.     Mommy why did he have a fake beard?
2.    Are those his real elves?
3.    How did they get all that snow all the way here from the North Pole?
4.    Does Santa go home at the end of the day?
5.    Mom, are you sure that that’s the real Santa Clause?
6.    How does he remember what I want for Christmas?
7.    Do I really have to be good?
8.    If I do something wrong, how does he know?
9.    Mommy why does Santa have bad breath?
10.    How many cookies does he have to eat to fit into that suit?

Prepare your responses in advance so that you can explain Santa’s mysterious ways in your own  fashion.  Everyone keeps Christmas according to rich family traditions that are passed on from generation to generation.  How you explain Santa Clause to your child is up to you.

I’m going on forty and I still believe in the giving nature of Santa Clause.  A few days ago I was reading the famous letter that a little girl named Virginia O’Hanlon had sent to the Editor of The New York Sun asking if there really was a Santa Clause.  My heart warmed at the Editor’s response:
“Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Clause.  He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give your life its highest beauty and joy.”
“He lives, and he lives forever.  A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.”

We want to wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas from all of us here at Child n’Parent!

By  Debby Hoffer

Entry Filed under: Holiday Season

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