Confessions of a Mall Santa
As the holidays are quickly approaching, local malls across Arizona are stocking up on a plethora of holiday wrappings, trinkets, gift sets and most importantly – Mall Santas.
Over time the familiar jolly face of the imposter “Saint Nick” has graced malls across the country. They’re always seen smiling, child on their lap, big white beard and all year after year at the local mall or retail store.
Inevitably, the question arises, “Who on earth would want to be a mall Santa?”
A local retail Santa (who wishes to remain anonymous) says that while he enjoys supplying young children with the satisfaction of seeing “Santa”, this is really just a job. As this is his third consecutive year as a mall Santa, he is no stranger to crazy moments and outlandish stories.
“I have had kids urinate on me, scream for their mommies, and yank on my beard like it’s their job”, says the retail Santa. “The most disgusting incident I ever had was when a little boy threw up bright blue slurpy all over my beard and down the front of my suit–that story is my favorite,” he confesses.
“It is not all bad,” says the mall Santa. “A lot of times, the mishaps make for pretty good stories, and usually after a long day, I have plenty [of] good stories to tell.”
When asked about what brought him to this job, he said “I’m large, old, and have a white beard. I was a perfect fit.” He plans to return to his post as good old Saint Nick next year as well.
The job isn’t just kids with bladder problems and upset stomachs, he says. Many children areactually terrified to sit on Santa’s lap. “The most common thing I run into is young children who simply do not wish to sit with me. They get frightened, scream and cry. I have even had kids hit me before,” he says.
“Most of the time, their parents scoop them up quickly to calm them down. Other times, those parents are just relentless and refuse to leave without a picture of their screaming child sitting on my knee.”
After all the shocking moments are said and done, the job of a mall Santa Claus brings a lot of joy into local children’s lives, and keeps the magic of Christmas special for them.
“I see kids from all walks of life, some whose parents can barely afford to feed them. Seeing Santa is what they look forward to and I’m very grateful to be a part of that,” he says.
Ultimately, it is not a job for the squeamish or faint hearted. Being a mall Santa requires a strong nose, iron stomach and a heart of gold. “But when you or your child get a picture with Santa this year, make sure you don’t get sick in his beard,” says Santa.
Photos courtesy of creepysantaphotos.com