Wednesday, November 23, 2011

In Which Connor Meets Santa

Connor made Santa Claus cry today.

The little guy woke up feeling pretty chipper and with zero fever, much to my relief.  So we decided that if the morning went well we'd take him down to the South Hill mall to see the giant Christmas trees and to get his picture taken with the Big Man In The Red Suit.

Yes, I know it's not even past Thanksgiving yet, so it's awfully early to be taking Christmas photos and whatnot.  But we have a reason for doing it this way; no one is at the mall taking pictures with Santa on the day before Thanksgiving.  That way we miss the crazy holiday crowds which are overwhelming for me and Jeremy, let alone Connor with his sensory issues.  Plus we don't have to wait in a huge line, and we can spend a bit more time making the little guy comfortable with the idea of sitting in some stranger's lap while another stranger snaps pictures of him. 

The plan worked out perfectly.  We dressed the little guy up in his nice Christmas outfit, parked him in front of the giant tree for a while and he stared at it in utter fascination before declaring, just like last year, that he wanted one for his very own.  We took a couple of pictures in front of the tree; isn't he cute in his Christmas outfit?  Then we headed across the practically deserted mall to visit Santa Claus. 

When we got there only one family was ahead of us.  It ended up working out perfectly because Connor got to see those kids get their picture taken and we could talk him through what was happening so he knew what to expect.  Then it was Connor's turn. 

He behaved just beautifully; he snuggled right into Santa's arm and turned on the charm.  The guy playing Santa was fantastic, and the photographer kept snapping away until he was sure he'd gotten at least one or two really good ones.  By the time we were finished, a line of waiting children was forming, but Santa stopped me anyway as we were leaving to tell me how touched he was by Connor and what an amazing kid he is, and that's when Mr. Claus teared up a bit.  We didn't tell Santa anything about the little guy's story, but I guess we didn't have to because Connor's such a sweet-natured kid anyone can see how special he is. 

So yep, Connor made Santa cry.  He tends to have that effect on people.

The photographer got a couple of great shots-- one of Connor and Santa reading a story together, and even one of those rare, glorious shots of Connor smiling!  I don't have digital copies of the photos, but trust me when I say that they're absolutely adorable.  While Jer and I picked out which pictures we wanted to buy, Santa and the photographer took a little break and spoke with the assistant handling the picture sales.  Then when we went to the counter with our selections, we were told that our pictures were free of charge, which is when I teared up a little too. 

So I know it's a little early, but today we discovered the spirit of Christmas is alive and well. 

Thanks, Santa.



Julia O'C said...

What a great blog post! Happy thanksgiving to you and your wonderful family. Love you guys!!

Mary said...

And then you made your sister cry too. :) Happy Thanksgiving! I'll call you once it's a more reasonable hour there to wish you the same.

Lin said...

Awww, sweet story. I'm glad he enjoyed Santa and didn't get scared as so many kids do.

We always took our kids to see Santa before Thanksgiving so they could spend time with him. Otherwise, it is just too crazy. Then when we would see him again, we'd give him a "refresher" wave.

Happy Thanksgiving, Jen.

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