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12 Days of Christmas Preparations for Foster and Adoptive Parents

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12 Days of Christmas Preparations: Day 9 - Nine Santa Avoiders
A little boy has a conversation with Santa.

Some children need time to get comfortable with the idea of sitting on Santa's lap.

Photo © Carrie Craft, licensed to About.com, Inc.

On the ninth day of Christmas Preparations, my true love gave to me:
Nine Santa avoiders,
Eight holiday parties,
Seven teaching moments,
Six memories a-haunting,
Five golden rules,
Four fighting kids,
Three snow days,
Two calling workers
and a well planned respite weekend.

Some children may have a hard time with the Christmas season for a variety of reasons: crowds of people, chaos of the season's business, and being on the go all the time. But then there is the obligatory visit with Santa Claus.

Here are a few tips for helping a child handle the guy in red:

  1. Talk to Santa. - I understand the want of having a picture of your child with St. Nick. I'm all about maintaining memories with photos, however, consider all that your child has endured. Do you really want to force your child to sit on a stranger's lap? Let Santa know that your child is scared and would just like to speak to him - from a safe distance. If you must have a Christmas picture. Consider creating another photographic holiday tradition that is just as cute and not as traumatic. Your child will more than likely out-grow this fear. Just give it time.

  2. Find a Role Model - Let child see that other children are comfortable with Santa. Older siblings are great role models or even mom and dad.

  3. Write Santa a letter. - A great tradition and a way for the child to feel like her wish was heard by Santa, even though she skipped out on meeting him directly.
  4. Naps - Sometimes exhaustion can add to fears. I'm a big believer in napping and this is not the time to skip out on naps. Find the time to sneak one in - even a nap for yourself too.

  5. Tired of the hustle and bustle - If the child seems tired of constantly going out into busy crowded stores, consider hiring a babysitter and leaving the child behind or go out and run errands while the child is in school.

  6. Leave treats out for Santa. - Have the child prepare a special plate for Santa on Christmas Eve. I used to leave a picture for Santa too.

  7. Leave a treat for Rudolph. - Go outside and place a few carrots or cut up apples for the Santa's reindeer.

  8. Watch fun Holiday movies that include Santa. - I recommend a Miracle on 34th Street, The Santa Clause, or Elf.

  9. Santa Crafts. - Make some Santa or reindeer crafts.

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