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Shopping Mall Santa Sets Ground Rules for Parents

DEAR ABBY: It's Santa here, asking if I could address your readers about a couple of things my helpers at the malls are bringing to my attention.

First and foremost: When you stand in line with your child, and it's finally their turn and they start to cry, scream and tremble, please DON'T force them to sit on Santa's lap. If you do, you are traumatizing your child. Is a picture really worth your child's well-being?

Next, I would discourage new moms from rushing from the hospital with their newborn, 2- or 3-day-old babies. You need to remember how many children sit on Santa's lap. Babies' immune systems are fragile, and Santa's suit can be loaded with germs. Thanks for your time, Abby, and Merry Christmas to all. -- SHOPPING MALL SANTA

DEAR S.M. SANTA: Thank you for your sensible suggestions. Some parents' heads become so full of sugarplums at Christmas that they forget their little ones are too young to associate Santa with the goodies he brings with him. I hope readers will take your message to heart.

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