Visits to Santa--provided everyone stays awake--are supposed to be the stuff that happy family holiday memories are made of, especially for the littlest kids. But for some children, taking a picture with a costumed jolly old man in a bright, noisy shopping center in front of a crowd of people can be very overwhelming. When that happens, it's usually up to a thoughtful Santa to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
That's exactly what happened at this Caring Santa event in Charlotte, NC, put on by the Autism Speaks organization and Noerr Programs. According to Maeghan Pawley, who snapped the heartwarming photo, the young boy pictured didn't want to sit on Santa's lap, despite his parents' attempts at convincing him to give it a try.
So, the compassionate Mr. Claus did what any good-hearted hero would do: He got down on the boy's level, right there on the floor, and gently came toward the nervous youngster, non-threatening toys in hand.
"The whole staff (Santa included) was overly accommodating for all of our kids...regardless of how much time or patience was needed to do so," said Pawley, who is a member of Autism Speaks' Family Services team.
Showing patience, kindness, and a loving holiday spirit? Yes, sounds just like Santa to us!