December 12, 2012 by Melissa
My daughter, Lucy, is absolutely terrified of Santa. I thought this year would be different from last year. Last year we had to make a deal that I would meet Santa somewhere to pick the presents up as she did not want him in her house, even if we would be out of town. I thought for sure that this year the idea of presents and candy would outweigh the fact that a strange man was in her house in the middle of the night and was able to watch her sleep. It wasn’t to be.
When I brought up Santa one night before Thanksgiving, Lucy started trembling and was speechless with fear. “I don’t like Santa,” she whispered. “Can you go pick up the presents like you did last time?” How in God’s name she remembers that, I don’t know. I talked to her about it a little more. We discussed the letter that she needed to write to Santa so he knew what she wanted since she was adament that she wasn’t going to go tell him in person. She decided that I needed to deliver the letter to him and then go back at another time to pick up the gifts. I thought that was, and is, a sensible plan. I’m glad she doesn’t want a strange man in her house.
I was terrified of Santa when I was a kid, too. But the lure of presents kept me from being too outspoken. One year, my Grandpa dressed up as Santa and visited us all at his house. I hid behind the couch the whole time, too petrified to show my face.
This year we have an added glitch of being at my in-laws for Christmas eve. After much discussing and negotiating, Lucy has agreed to Santa coming to the house if she can sleep next to me all night. I’m fine with this.
We’ve tried a multitude of things to try to make her less scared. We’ve watched movies with a kind Santa character, I’ve told her that the Santa at the mall is not the real Santa but someone dressed up in costume and that just freaked her out more (as it should, if you really think about it). We look at pictures of Santa, talk to other kids about their visits with Santa. Nothing will do. She’s made up her mind that the scenario is too scary to be okay with. I am wondering what would happen if it were Mrs. Claus making an appearance but I also don’t want it to get too complicated compared to her friends’ experiences. Kids talk.
She does like the idea of Santa. Asking for gifts you want from the toy catalogue and having some of them arrive magically is pretty magical. She just doesn’t want him in her house.
Do you have similar stories? What have you done or said to make Santa less scary for your own holiday season?