Tips For Tots: A visit with Santa Claus

By Anne A. McGrady

An exciting trip to visit Santa may be just that or the visit can turn out to be a disaster leaving both the child and parents with little patience.

After all the preparations to get Tot to visit Santa, the Santa visit may never take place.

Young children can be very excited one minute and as this big visit approaches, the Tot arrives at the mall and becomes very quickly frightened, timid and shy, hears other Tots crying and decides instantly that he/she doesn't want any part of this person who is Santa Claus.

Santa Claus' outfit can also be unsettling to young children as that big long beard covers his face and he wears the red suit with black boots. The outfit at first, for young Tots, may seem unusual and scary.

Because of young ages, Tots cannot verbalize or show slight verbalization which would signal to you that the child is uneasy and uncomfortable. One finds the task of consoling, reasoning with the young Tot very difficult and/or impossible.

The music, lights, lots of people and children some of them crying can become one giant overload for your child and coping with all these strange things can bring on a tantrum.

It is extremely important that special considerations be extended by the caregiver regarding uneasiness, emotional fears and concerns, which may demonstrate the inner feelings of the tot. If this becomes the scenario, the caregiver needs to back off the festivities and allow the child to become accustomed to the Santa outfit, decorations and enjoy this special Santa next time in years to come.

Do not force the child to be photographed. If the child is just slightly upset, it might be one of your most priceless photos in each to come.

When all else fails, this trip to visit Santa can become a fun shopping celebration, viewing the Christmas decorations around the mall and enjoying a snack or meal.
Observe, know, listen to your child and have a great holiday season.

Remember there is always next year and, as children become older, they then begin to warm up to Santa Claus, talking to him and letting Santa know what tot is dreaming to receive at Christmas.

The visit to Santa Claus then becomes an everlasting memory to enjoy for years to come.


Suggestions for Snacks for Santa

Besides a lot of milk and cookies, Santa may enjoy the following:

• An apple for Rudolph

• Carrot sticks

• Trail mix

• Celery for the reindeer


Great Holiday Reads

• “A Night Before Christmas” by Clement Moore, 2006, Marshall Canenish Books

• “Olivia, y el regalo de navidad,” 2012, Farrah McDoogle, Simon & Schuster. 3-6 years. Great Christmas story about Olivia's adventures at Christmas in Spanish.


www.santaclaus.net — Ask Santa; Christmas songs, games, stories; Santa tracker

www.norad.com — North Pole Weather/Track Santa

Letter to Santa with North Pole Postmark
Write a letter to a child on Santa's behalf, put in envelope addressed to child.

Write “North Pole” as the return address and affix first class postage (44 cents).

Place the sealed letter in a first class stamped envelope and mail to:

   North Pole Christmas Cancellation


   5400 Mail Trail

   Fairbanks, AK 99709-9998

* Postmark requests must arrive before Dec. 15 to receive by Christmas.