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)

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

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead in ‘targeted incident’ on Sooke Road

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

A decade into the 100-year blueprint for restoring the Bowker Creek watershed, Soren Henrich, director of the Friends of Bowker Creek Society, feels positive about the future of conservation and daylighting of the creek. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Ten years in, Greater Victoria’s 100-year Bowker Creek blueprint gets a boost

Victoria council passes several restoration recommendations

A resurfacing of the tennis court in Metchosin is being eyed for the community. However, funding opportunities still need to be solidified for the project. (Michelle Cabana/Black Press Media)
Renewed surface eyed for Metchosin tennis court

Funding source must first be solidified in order for project to happen

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

Kevin Haughton is the founder/technologist of Courtenay-based Clearflo Solutions. Scott Stanfield photo
Islander aims Clearflo clean drinking water system at Canada’s remote communities

Entrepreneur $300,000 mobile system can produce 50,000 litres of water in a day, via solar energy

Most Read