Santa-phobia: Not every kid is happy to see St. Nick

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Before Santa Claus comes down your chimney this Christmas you may be inclined to take your kids for a picture with the Jolly Ol’ St. Nick.

But sometimes the most magical time of the year can become the most terrifying for young children.

While meeting Santa is great fun for some, for others, it’s not. It’s something Daniel and Nicole Jones had to sort through with their son Henry.

"Last year we went and saw Santa at the train station, and it went very poorly and he was scared and he had a tantrum," Nicole said.

Henry's not alone. Santa's helpers say many children between the ages of two and six are terrified to meet Kris Kringle.

We couldn’t speak with Santa since he was busy listening to Christmas wishes, but Mrs. Claus explained what frightens kids the most is the unfamiliarity.

"How often do you get to see Santa but around Christmas time, so here's this man in the big red suit, and parents go 'Go sit on his lap' and they are petrified because they've been told you don't go talk to strangers." Mrs. Claus said.

Santa and Mrs. Claus try to make kids as comfortable as possible, but parents can help their children work up to the meeting.

"What I usually tell people is take them to the mall let them see Santa, go to a parade where they can see him.”Mrs. Claus explained. “Don’t spring it on them, don’t just show up and say here go sit on this man’s lap because it’s too scary."

The strategy worked for the Jones', with no tears this year for Henry.

"This year we just talked about it in advance and practiced what we would say when we saw Santa." Nicole explained.

Helping ensure a love of Christmas to last a lifetime.

For more advice to help your kids prepare for a positive Santa experience just click here.