Visiting Santa is a really fun Holiday tradition for most families. It’s one I loved as a child and was excited to continue with my own children. The first couple years went well but eventually, visiting Santa became a tradition that I dreaded. It has turned into an overwhelming experience for my boys and as a mom, when my children aren’t having a good time, I’m not enjoying the tradition either.
As a mother of two preschoolers with special needs I am honored that Ability Path contacted me to share about their “Caring Santa”. It brought tears to my eyes to realize that people cared enough about my children and other children with special needs that they’d work together to create this special experience for our children.
This year Caring Santa will be at over 80 locations across the United States. Here are more details from Ability Path: Due to this collaborative effort and greater mall participation this year, more children with special needs and their families will have an opportunity to participate in the time-honored holiday tradition of taking a photo with Santa in an environment set up to support the sensory, physical and other developmental needs of children with all abilities. Each mall will be asked to make some minor modifications to subdue the mall the morning of Caring Santa, and the result of that will be a magical experience for families; and some will walking away with their first-ever holiday photo of their child or family with Santa. Until now, visiting with Santa and the Bunny really wasn’t a reality for families of children with special needs.
Last year, families who have experienced Caring Santa expressed great appreciation to participating malls for the extra care and welcoming environment. While the accommodations made are for the child with special needs, often there are siblings who, as a result of their brother or sister’s disability don’t have the opportunity to partake in moments like these. The Caring Santa event is as much for them as it is for the child with a disability. It is truly a morning for making memories for children of all abilities!
You can look to see if there is a location near you and RSVP by clicking here.
A HUGE thanks to Ability Path, Simon Malls, and Noerr Programs for organizing these events.
(Disclosure: This is not a compensated post.)