A late thank you to the Cottonwood Santa Claus

I have been coming to the Cottonwood Mall to see you since my first daughter was born. This year was an especially special year for us

I have been coming to the Cottonwood Mall to see you since my first daughter was born.  Today she is almost four.  This year was an especially special year for us…

When we plan our visit we like to do it as close to December first as possible, if not on the actual first. As long as the day falls on a weekday. We try to visit once or twice before the actual day, you know to get the girls used to you,  I mean a man in a big red suit and a white beard can be scary!   We plan everything, to the girls clothing, to the time of day… We need it to be quiet and to not feel rushed. I honestly thought this year would be a right-off.

What you might not know is my daughter has a disability, She has Down Syndrome.  She is a beautiful little girl who has a smile that will light up a room, but she is very shy.  I was worried this year as to how this Santa visit was going to go.  She is old enough to not be tricked into sitting nice…

When we arrived it was perfect.  No one was around… no line and no waiting.  I have to say I was so touched and so happy with the way you handled both my young girls; you never treated one differently than the other. You instructed us to take our time, to come closer slowly.  You shared candy canes and stickers.  You talked gently and made them both feel like the situation was okay, they were safe and there was nothing to be afraid of.

Your helper elf was just as good.  We did get the girls on your lap, and we got a great photo without tears.  The whole visit took about 20 minutes; we never once felt rushed, or pressured.  We never felt different.  It was marked as a huge success!  I am so thankful for you and your kindness you showed!  I am sure that as Santa sitting in a mall it can be tiring, and not the most glamourous job on your list, but I hope you know you are a celebrity in my girls eyes as well as mine!

Thank you so much!

We can’t wait for next year!

Melissa DePape