Friday, November 14, 2008

12 step Santa program

So Ellie is absoutely terrified of Santa. She is okay seeing stuffed Santas, or talking about Santa, but to see an actual Santa in a mall (yes, they have been in our malls for 2 weeks, WTH?) gives her the shakes and seriously terrorizes her.

We have been working on it. I am taking her through a 12 step program. Here are the steps we have completed so far.

1. Talking about Santa
2. Showing her cute stuffed Santas
3. Reading books about Santa
4. Telling her Santa brings presents!
5. Showing her stuffed Santas that sing and dance (not a fan)
6. Stopping 30 ft away from a real Santa and waving (she did not wave but covered her face!)
7. Santa waved while she was on the train (this one was not intentional. She wanted to ride the little Christmas train at the mall so I put her on it. The Santa there was really good and came over to wave at the kids on the train. Cool right? Wrong. It was 7 minutes of true torture for my kid. God Bless her. She didn't cry, but she did ride the entire time with her eyes closed. I actually had to go get her when the train stopped and she looked up at me and said "Santa no wave!"

So that is as far as we have gotten. That might be as far as we get. Other steps include:

8. Getting 20 feet from Santa and waving
9. Getting 10 feet from Santa and waving
10. Saying Hi to Santa
11. Giving Santa a high five
12. Sitting on Santas lap

I don't want to do anything to really scare her. The only reason I am putting her through all this is because Santa is EVERYWHERE and I want her to enjoy Christmas! I am not going to force her on his lap or anything!

We were driving home from the mall yesterday and I was telling her (again) about how Santa is a nice man and he brings presents to all the children of the world and we was going to come to our house on Christmas Eve and leave presents for her! Know what she said?

"Is he coming from the mall?"

I think a discussion of the North Pole is in order.

Also, I need to figure out how to incorporate Jesus into all this. I mean, he is the reason for the season.


Sheila said...

I remember one of my cousins being terrorized by Santa. My grandmother would always have a Santa come to house on Christmas Eve and that poor girl was just bawl and bawl. I do hope your daughter gets through those steps. :)

Molly said...

You know, my kids know that the Santa at the mall and other places we go isn't the REAL Santa....that he's just some guy dressed up as Santa who goes back and tells the REAL Santa what all the kids want. He is a Santa liasion, if you will. :) Anyway, maybe if she knew he was just some dude in a Santa suit, she wouldn't be so scared??? That way, maybe, you could still keep the Santa illusion alive for her without requiring therapy.