‘Tis The Season of Meltdowns, Anxiety, and Falalalala

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Is Sensory Santa Coming to Town?

Season of Meltdowns
Holding Hands
Sensory Santa

A Santa that isn’t dripping in sweat?

A North Pole that isn’t blaring Santa Claus is Coming to Town at deafening levels?

No crowded lines to tell the big guy what you want for Christmas?

Could it be true? Could there be a Sensory Friendly Santa Claus?

It is, just no where near my section of the world that I have found. But, oh what a wonderful thought!

Here’s what I’ve seen Sensory Santa’s advertise:

  • No background music or spotlights
  • No lines
  • A chair NEXT to Santa – No LAP people!
  • And they book in advanced.

Joy to the World, these people are Christmas geniuses. Imagine all the scared, sensory overloaded kids they will save. Think of the crying toddlers that will be soothed. A child with SPD won’t suffer just to ask for a Red Ryder BB gun.

Why isn’t Sensory Santa in every mall in America?

I’ve never been into Santa. As a child I remember dreading having to sit on some hot, sweaty bearded man’s lap for my picture to be taken. It was miserable. I hated the mall, the crowds, the music, the heaters blasting, the tight coats, the hats, the itchy sweaters, and the lines. The BELLS. Oh, I detested those jingling jingle bells.

And I never believed. Maybe because of my SPD, but I have no memory of believing any of it. The man, the flying reindeer, delivering toys to the entire world in one night, or the chimneys. We have always lived in hot climates, so really, a chimney was never an option and therefore my young brain could not uphold suspension of disbelief.

Santa didn’t make sense. 

My oldest son has always loved Disney characters, but refused to go near them at Disneyland, so it was pretty safe to assume that he’d want nothing to do with the mall, jingle bells, an overheated man in a hot suit and fake beard, so we’ve always steered clear of Santa through his youth.

Since he had a hard time discerning between reality and imagination, we also didn’t play up the whole Santa thing. How do you explain that Santa is real and Spongebob is not? It was too complicated. And we also didn’t want to lie, but that’s a whole story posted here.

But before you think I’m just creating a generation of Santa haters, know that if we had Sensory Santa available to us, it may be a completely different story.

If my kids could have a scheduled time to show up at the mall, not wait in line, and sit in two separate chairs bookending the man in the red suit, then it could be a game changer. If they could join in on the Santa fun without having sensory meltdowns, then maybe we’d leave milk and cookies out ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, and maybe, just maybe they would believe.

Wishing everyone the happiest of holidays this season, Jackie Linder Olson

Find your last minute SENSORY gifts for HER (mom, friends, teachers, therapists), or SENSORY gifts for TEENS here!

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