What makes up a Mall Santa?
This is a question that most people do not usually ask themselves. Everyone remembers that when they were young, they used to pay to sit on Santa’s lap at the mall and tell him what you want for Christmas, but does anyone know how Santa makes it to the mall? There is actually a college class for these Santas that is taken very seriously, where they learn how to make their beards pearly white and make sure they have their red coat ready to go. When asked what their perception of the ideal Santa was, people named similar answers. They told they liked jolly, big, rosy cheeks, and white hair with an overall grandfather type of personality. At malls they try to imitate the perfect Santa, but everyone is not the same, so that’s why they have the class to make sure everyone’s experience is pleasurable.
Recently, there was an incident where a boy, while sitting on Santa's lap, was told to “lay off the hamburgers and fries.” The indirect comment about the boy’s weight resulted in the boy tearing up his wish list and photo. These kinds of situations are not a one time occurrence. Santas are interacting with children within the Christmas season and are looked upon as model figures, so they carry a large influence on them. Incidents like this need to be corrected, which is why courses like the previously mentioned were created.
A university in Colorado offers a four-day course that covers all subjects from singing jingles to knowing what beard products to use. Although it may seem hard to believe, it is very true. These Santas put months of preparation to make children happy. One Santa attending the course said, “If I made one child’s day by being Santa, then I can go to sleep feeling accomplished.” The looks are not the only thing that are important to being Santa. All of the Santas attending the course said that the most important part to being Santa is to have a big heart; then the looks and everything else fall into place.
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