Father Shane Doty, two-year-old Ariah, and mom Melissa, were among those who got their picture taken with Sensitive Santa at Tillicum Centre in 2017. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Sensitive Santa brings patient holiday cheer to Tillicum Centre

Those who need more time with Santa can book a session ahead starting Nov. 19

Taking a photo with a mall Santa is a tradition for many, but it often requires a long wait in a crowded line up and a rushed moment with Mr. Claus. These circumstances can be a barrier for some and the Sensitive Santa initiative at Tillicum Centre provides an alternative.

Rebekah Kasper, spokesperson for Tillicum Centre, explained that the Sensitive Santa initiative is “meant for people who need quieter time with Santa.”

READ ALSO: Help Cedar Hill Middle School students make a difference in Guatemala this Christmas

People can pre-book 10-minute sessions with jolly old Saint Nick between 11 a.m and noon on Sunday Dec. 1, 8 and 15 as the mall staff understand that long lines and crowds can be very difficult for some.

Kasper emphasized that the bookings are reserved for those with autism, chronic illness and varying levels of abilities, not for skipping the long lines. The mall relies on the honour system as folks will not be asked to prove their need for time with Sensitive Santa.

The sessions aren’t rushed and include patient staff – Christmas elves and trained volunteers from Community Living Victoria will be there to help the families – and of course, a very patient Santa.

READ ALSO: ’Tis the season for holiday cheer with a Ken Lavigne Christmas

Sometimes Santa needs to wait a long time for the visitor to be ready for a photo as many are nervous and sometimes there are emotional moments to wait out, Kasper explained. Other times, no photo is taken at all as the visitor would prefer a conversation rather than a photo.

Kasper noted that everyone is welcome to come down to spend time with Santa regardless of their needs and age – there is no age cap for the sessions so anyone wanting to spend some time with Santa is welcome.

Sessions can be booked as of Nov. 19 by emailing rkasper@AnthemProperties.com and including Sensitive Santa in the subject line.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria police arrest suspect in two daytime robberies

A robber told businesses he had a weapon and demanded cash

What Victoria residents are looking to buy while social distancing

New search terms pop up on the Used.ca the top 100 list

Flurries fall on Malahat Monday morning

Showers expected off and on for rest of the day

Sidney’s top emergency official reiterates need for physical distancing during virtual chat

The public Sunday also heard of future plans to help local businesses through tax deferments

‘We need to do better:’ VicPD responds to more parties, gatherings

Chief pleads with public to ‘think of the greater good’

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

Cruise ships, one with COVID-19 on board, carry Canadians covertly through Panama Canal

Zaandam, Rotterdam pass through canal under cover of darkness in face of local protests

’The energy sector is destroyed beyond repair’: expert on COVID-19’s impact on economy

‘That’s never been heard of before; no one sells oil for $4 a barrel.’ – Dan McTeague

LifeLabs reducing public hours as it assists with COVID-19 testing

Coronavirus tests not done at B.C. patient centres, referrals only

24,000 Canadian Forces members ready for COVID-19 response: Defence Minister

No direct requests made by premiers yet, national defence minister says

IN DEPTH: How B.C. emptied its hospitals to prepare for COVID-19

Thousands of beds have been freed up, but patients and seniors have had to sacrifice

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Most Read