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December 19th, 2013

Santa's visit to Extend-A-Family

December 6 and 8, Santa Claus made his way from the north pole to spend some time with EAFWR.  What a great couple of days it was.

For so many kids and adults that are supported by EAFWR, going to a crowded mall is just not an option – sensory overload to the maximum.  For many people coming to see Santa, it takes a little time to get warmed up to the idea. As great and jolly as Santa may be, it is also a little unnerving.

With these things in mind the elves at EAFWR got to work planning the 3rd annual Visit with Santa. Hot chocolate from Starbucks and gluten free cookies from Healthy foods and more – because what is a visit with Santa without a little extra sugar to get you going.  We provided a holiday craft for those who were waiting, needing a little more time to get comfortable or were just in a crafty mood.

We created a quiet and private room for families to have their own time with Santa.  No long lineups, no pressure to get that perfect pose in your allotted 3 minutes. With each individual family Santa and his elves tried their best to tailor the visit to what would suit them and make the experience a happy and memorable one. No pressure if you weren’t ready to go in right away, no judgement if there was crying or all out refusal. Our intention was to make a friendly and calm space for everyone to come and meet Santa as they are. No two visits were the same.

Santa knew the name of each person who came through the door. The shock and wonder on their faces was amazing as Santa would say “well hello ‘Bobby’, I’m so glad that you and your sister ‘Meghan’ could come see me today.”  More often than not, the couch (set up for the perfect posed picture) was abandoned and Santa ended up sitting on the floor just ‘hanging out’ with whoever was in to visit, or dance or even watch the latest youtube video.  How often in this crazy busy life do we just get to hang out with the Jolly Old Man himself?!

2 days of wonder, joy, laughter – all the cheesy, hokey stuff that makes the holidays so wonderful. These 2 days that Santa spends at EAFWR each year are enough to turn each Grinch or Scrooge into Buddy the Elf!

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