Parents use the fear of Santa Claus to their advantage throughout the year; with the threat of being on the naughty list, it is a handy warning to misbehaving children. But for little Landon, he was worried that something else may land him on Santa’s naughty list this year.
When Landon and his family went to the River Town Crossings mall in Michigan, he had a very important question to ask Santa. After taking a family photo, the 6-year-old ran up to the Big Man to ask a nerve-wracking question.
Santa, will my autism put me on the naughty list?
Landon was clearly worried that his disorder was going to risk his reputation with Santa and the elves and wanted to check the situation. Without hesitation, Santa lifted the little boy onto his lap and said the words that he needed to hear.
You know I love you and the reindeer love you and it’s OK. You’re a good boy. You’re a good boy, you know? It’s OK to be you.
Landon immediately appeared relieved as Santa eased his anxieties, and his mom, Naomi, looked on, holding back tears of gratitude. Naomi has always tried to teach her son that his autism doesn’t make him any different from anyone else, so to hear the words come out of Santa’s mouth meant the world to her. Maybe now Landon could believe it for himself too.
Santa and Landon went on to spend a further five minutes discussing their excitement for the upcoming holidays and Landon’s interests so that Santa could get a good idea of what he would like for Christmas.
Here was Landon, sitting with Santa and being told that it was ok to be himself. Mommy tells him all the time that he’s special and I love him the way he was made, but it’s always nice to hear it from others.
Santa managed to make a huge difference to this family’s day and their experience of the holiday season. Reminding us all that it is OK to be ourselves, no matter what difficulties you may have to overcome within yourself. Great job, Santa!
Watch the video below for Landon’s story. If you loved Santa’s encouraging message to the sweet boy, be sure to leave your comments below and share the good cheer with your friends. ?