Christmas is one of the most beloved and cheerful holidays of the year. From the excitement of seeing Santa to decorating their Christmas tree, people of all ages are very enthusiastic. However, kids are probably ten times more excited about Christmas than adults. It is a hectic time for mothers as they have to cater to all the demands of their kids. Visiting the malls to meet Santa is one thing that kids long for, but it can be an equally overwhelming task for mothers. Kids also think of numerous presents that they would want from Santa and therefore, try to be on his “good list”. So moms sometimes take advantage of this and get their kids to do certain things that they don’t want to do.Visiting Santa at the mall is a common annual occurrence in most families. But on one specific Christmas Eve, this otherwise normal encounter with Santa turned into a special and heartwarming one. Landon Johnson, like many other kids went to the RiverTown Crossings mall in Michigan with his family with only one goal in mind… to meet Santa.
Kids are innocent and their innocence is often reflected in their actions. When Landon sat in Santa’s lap, he, like any other excited kid, started out with his wish-list which had a Wii, a remote control car and a toy dinosaur. But he went back to Santa to tell him his secret.
While Naomi Johnson, Landon’s mother, was waiting for the picture to print, she noticed that his boy ran up to Santa again. They seemed to be having a deeply emotional conversation. Santa was even holding Landon’s hand. She said, “I didn’t know what was being said. I just thought it was really cute, but it wasn’t until moments later that I found out what had happened.”
On the way back home, everybody started asking Landon about the conversation he had with Santa. He then told everybody, “I wanted to tell Santa that I had autism. He wanted to know if it bothered me, having autism, and I said, ‘Sometimes.’ And Santa said it was OK to be who I was.”
All Landon wanted to know was if he was still a good boy. His autism has made him a constant source of unwanted attention, which includes teasing. So Landon was afraid that Santa might have mistakenly assumed that he was a bad kid.
This touched Santa to the core who responded, “I said no one is naughty; we are always trying to do better. There are no children on the naughty list. They are all on the good list.” That’s when Landon hugged him and left.
Naomi wanted nothing more than for her boy to accept the way he is and Santa’s five magical words ‘It’s OK to be you’ did this for her. She was grateful to him for making his son understand that while he’s different, he isn’t any less special than anyone else. She said, “I always tell him he’s unique and special, but when Santa says it to him, it really means something.”
So she expressed her heartfelt thanks to Santa through a Facebook post which generated 99,000 likes in just two days. Naomi has been so moved by the entire incident of how a stranger dressed in a red suit made her son understand that he is special and loved regardless of his condition.