Fact: The official name of having a fear of Santa Clause is Santaphobia. (I swear, look it up!) Any of you who have been reading this blog for awhile might remember last year’s christmas photo:
It was by all accounts, a rather traumatic experience for our daughter. I know this sounds totally horrible, but I still have this photo of Everly on my desk at work and it gives me a chuckle. I don’t think I’m winning any mother of the year points by finding my child’s santa fear humorous, but it is what is.
So let’s cut to this year. We dressed the kids up in their most festive of holiday outfits and set out for the local mall with a reputation for having a very authentic Santa Clause. We’ve been hyping Santa Clause up to Everly for weeks. She was pretty skeptical at first, but more recently she began to get excited over him - announcing “Shasta Calls!” whenever he would appear on television or in a holiday book. We even watched a personalized message from Santa several times & youtube videos of various children sitting on Santa’s lap. She would give us an enthusiastic “YES!” whenever we asked if she was looking forward to meeting the big guy and we were hopeful that this year was going to be a Santa Claus homerun.
As we waited in line on Saturday, Everly curiously studied Santa. She pointed him out several times and watched as other children sat on his lap. What are you going to ask Santa for Christmas, I asked? “Ummmmmm. Dinosaur!” she said back. (The girl is ALL ABOUT trains and dinosaurs right now)
Arlo is still small enough that I knew he’d be game for whatever. He’s still pretty agreeable to going to almost anyone and I was pretty certain he’d have no issues with Santa. So when it was our turn, we put Arlo in Santa’s lap first and just as I suspected - he looked up at Santa, flashed him a smile and settled in to watch the mall crowds walk by. Everly walked up to Santa a little cautiously but reached out her hand to say hello when she got close. I thought we might be in the clear but as soon as we set her on Santa’s lap - it was all over.
Santa held on to her long enough for us to snap a shot or two like this:
And then they suggested I hold Everly so that we could get a photo of her not looking terrified. I protested (I did not want a picture of ME with Santa) “Just the kids! Just the kids!” I said, but the other parents were looking at me like HURRY IT UP LADY! So I scooped Everly up, we sat down and they snapped a couple with all of us.
I’ve yet to scan the official photo in - but Everly looks so sad in it. Like Santa (or more accurately, Mama) broke her little Christmas heart. Sigh. One of these years she’s gonna change her tune about ‘Ol Saint Nick - I just know it. And in the meantime, since she never got to let him know, I’m off to put in a special request with him that there is at least one dinosaur greeting her on Christmas morning.