Believing in Santa as an Adult with Special Needs

Written by:

Vickie C – Mom to an adult child with autism

As parents, we all come to the crossroad of whether our children believe in Santa sooner or later. It’s a sad milestone. It begins to be difficult for them to understand and believe in something they can’t see.

Sure, we see Santa and his helpers often during the months before Christmas, but never during his Christmas Eve deliveries. This causes our children to question his existence.

Why can’t they see him? Why must they be asleep?

As I explained to my son DC, Santa has a job to do. If he took time to stop and visit with the children in every house he delivered gifts to, even with his magic, he’d never be able to finish in time to get back to the North Pole to celebrate Christmas with Mrs. Claus and the elves.

It took DC many years to understand Santa. He knew he’d receive gifts, but the whole idea of Santa was not something that could be understood easily. His not understanding did not stop Santa from leaving him gifts.

When it finally clicked, he was all in! Now that he understands, he would never and will never question Santa’s existence.

The one problem was, DC ‘s Christmas requests have always been small (in size) gifts. Santa could very well bring him 20 DVD’s, but the pile of gifts (visually) would be very small. DC doesn’t understand cost/size vs. number of gifts. He expects a very big pile of gifts. So, over the years I’ve always “supplemented” the Santa pile with gifts of my own.

Being a single mother for more than 20 years now, I am the sole “supplement-or” (yes, I know that’s not a word) of DC’s gifts. Which means I not only add to what Santa brings to make the pile look more exciting for DC, but I also, of course, have to buy additional gifts from me. This gets to be a little bit overwhelming for me, not only in cost, but in trying to come up with other gifts ideas to make that pile he needs to see.

Now that DC’s an adult, and the items he asks for are smaller still, it’s becoming harder to supplement Santa’s gifts to make that Christmas pile. I finally confessed that some parents, with adult children, have to help Santa out a little bit. Santa has so many little children to deliver packages to on Christmas Eve, and it’s hard for him to get to everyone.

So now that DC is an adult, Santa only delivers his stocking and the rest of the gifts in his pile are from Mom. Santa always did a pretty good job with DC’s stocking, by the way. He was fine with this. As long as Santa is coming, even just to bring a stocking, all is well.

santa-pDC, his best friend, BB, BB’s Dad, Doug and I were going to take a ride on the Santa train.

Earlier this week, BB had been told by one of his other friends that he was too old and should no longer believe in Santa. He was upset by this, but BB knew better.

He knew he was correct in believing.

Both DC and BB were very excited about riding the train. They always have the best time when they are together.

Santa boarded the train a few minutes into our trip. He received more hugs that he expected, I imagine.

BB mentioned to Santa what his friend had said to him that week. Santa took a little bit of time to talk about it with BB and DC.

“Those who don’t believe, well they are the one’s that are missing out” ~ Santa Claus

So there you have it, straight from Santa’s mouth.

BB felt much better. He knew it before but now he really knows that he was right all along.


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