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Published: Tuesday, December 22, 2015 @ 11:44 PM
Updated: Tuesday, December 22, 2015 @ 11:44 PM
By: Cox Media Group National Content Desk
SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Bass Pro Shops apologized to the mother of a 13-month-old special-needs boy after Santa Claus refused to hold the child in his lap for a photograph last Friday, according to a report.
Instead, Santa stood up to hold the child, then quickly handed him off after one photo, according to Megan Self, the boy’s mother.
Self reportedly said she wanted her son Caleb to experience sitting in Santa’s lap and that’s why she waited in line for the free photo, unhooking her child from his breathing apparatus and other medical equipment to pose.
Self said Caleb had been hospitalized 11 times since March. She called the perceived Santa snub the “icing on the cake” of a hard year.
Bass Pro Shops said in a statement, “This is not something we feel great about.”
Self declined the company’s offer of a gift certificate and a one-on-one photo session with Santa and Caleb and suggested they make a donation to medical research instead.
A spokesman for Bass Pro Shops reportedly said Santa Claus and others involved in the free photo sessions do go through sensitivity training. The spokesman said more than a million free photos with Santa will be given away this year alone.
A footnote to this story: The family did, apparently, get the photo they wanted with Santa and Caleb.