Friday, December 19, 2014

Caring Santa. He Rocks.

We go see Santa every year. 
But not last year, because I was in China.  
Actually, we didn't go the year before either. 

I don’t even remember why.  

The year before that my little one was a newborn and I don’t think we bothered that year either.  

Come to think of it, I believe that I only have some pictures with the big 2 kids sitting on Santa’s lap.  If I remember correctly, there was always at least 1 child screaming.  As I was searching for a picture this is the only one that I found.  
My gosh, no wonder why we haven't been in a few years. 

MmmmOK that was 4 kids ago.  Probably circa 2007.  We waited in line for hours.  It was probably naptime, and I’m pretty serious about not messing with naptime. I’m also pretty serious about annual traditions with the kids, and I think I’ve clearly been slacking in the taking the kids to see Santa area.

I started researching early this year.  I considered the Frozen experience at the local mall for a hot second, and just about laughed out loud at the thought of my SIX kids waiting line for hours.  We would likely loose a child or two if not strapped down.  I have about 3 runners right now, complicating the whole getting-out-of-the-house thing. 

If we survived, we just might need a drink afterwards.

Nope, not gonna work. 

Through Autism Speaks, I found out about Caring Santa.  We could go to the mall during designated closed hours and see Santa. It was supposed to be an easy going, sensory-friendly environment, with specially trained staff would be able to provide the Santa experience without the triggers that I was dreading:  the lines, the crowds, and a Santa that would be uncomfortable with my children.

I got the kids dressed up.  Shoot, I even threw on a red scarf since I suspected that I might be getting cozy with the big guy—with a couple of kids on my own lap.  We drove to the mall and hoped for the best.  We found Santa…and an absolutely wonderful group of people representing the local chapter of Autism Speaks. There was no line.  There were no tears.  My 3 year old asked Santa endless questions, about his sleigh, his pillow, Rudolf, gifts, etc. The other children took turns chatting with Santa as well. My 6 year old is expecting a banjo. The 2 youngest were quiet and reserved, but there were no tears. It was so much better than I could have hoped for. We took our own pictures, and obviously you-get-what-you-get with 6 kids. It’s cool.  
Thank you, Caring Santa and Autism Speaks.
You both really hooked up our crazy family this year.
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