Sign up

Successful Santa Visits!

Christmas is a magical time of year and for many young children visiting Santa is a highlight. Chances are by now they’ve made their list and checked it twice and have begun the "when can I see Santa?” chant. However, no matter how excited and prepared your child is, parents should be prepared for almost anything when visiting Santa.

We caught up with Santa and he had a few suggestions to help make your child’s visit a successful one:

Talk to your child ahead of time about what’s going to happen during the visit. It may help to prepare your child if you visit the mall a few times just to watch other children’s Santa visits. There are many books available to read about Santa that may help prepare your child in advance of the visit.

Try to schedule your visit during a quieter time at the mall, on weekdays during early morning or later evening. Don’t forget to pack a snack in case the line is long and plan your visit before you start your shopping and patience is wearing thin.

Don’t insist your child sit on Santa’s knee, they may feel more comfortable standing beside Santa or sitting on the arm of his chair.

Some children get nervous and can't remember what they wanted to ask for so don’t forget to bring their wish list and maybe their favorite toy for comfort.

For a very young child, try backing them in on Santa’s knee, this may help if they are at the ‘making strange’ stage. Santa’s elves have wonderful distractions like bells to help create a diversion. Don’t worry about getting the perfect smile for your photo, try to capture the interaction between Santa and your child.

Remember, it’s developmentally normal for your child to be terrified of Santa one year and go up to him and give him a big hug the next. So if they’re too nervous or scared, try again in a few days or try again next year.

Ellen, a true believer of Santa, is the publisher of Calgary's Child Magazine. For more information, you can pick up Calgary's Child Magazine free at more than 600 locations in and around Calgary or read it online at


Calgary’s Child Magazine © 2024 Calgary’s Child