13+ Things Your Mall Santa Won’t Tell You

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1. Some of us get bonuses for making our daily photo quota.

1. Some of us get bonuses for making our daily photo quota.ISTOCK/adamkaz
So please forgive me if I try to move things along.

2. Never force your screaming kid onto my lap.

2. Never force your screaming kid onto my lap. istock/Claus Mikosch
Just bring him close and give me a few minutes.

3. Want to have more than just a few seconds with me?


3. Want to have more than just a few seconds with me?
istock/webphotographeer
Skip the mall. Let’s meet at your kid’s preschool or a photo studio that invites Santa in for special portraits.

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4. I make around $10,000 a season doing this, but cut me some slack.

4. I make around $10,000 a season doing this, but cut me some slack.istock/Oleg Prikhodko
Between October and December, most of us work about forty 10-hour days and listen to 30,000 children.

5. Wondering why both of my white-gloved hands are always where you can see them?

5. Wondering why both of my white-gloved hands are always where you can see them?istock/baona
Ask my lawyer.

6. I’m sorry Grandma is in heaven or that Mom and Dad have split up.

6. I’m sorry Grandma is in heaven or that Mom and Dad have split up.istock/shironosov
But even Santa can only do so much, so let’s just stick with what you’d like to unwrap on the big day.

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7. As a matter of fact, I did go to school for this.

7. As a matter of fact, I did go to school for this.istock/serguacom
Topics of study: how to hold children, manage sticky conversations, and care for my hair and beard.

8. I don’t have total recall.

8. I don’t have total recall.istock/gpointstudio
Don’t come back after a few minutes and ask what your kid requested. Stand close enough to listen.

9. Those of us with real beards think we’re superior.

9. Those of us with real beards think we’re superior.istock/shironosov
But the best of the rest of us pay as much as $3,000 to wig makers to make us authentic-looking whiskers.

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10. I see you vigorously nodding your head,

10. I see you vigorously nodding your head,istock/Renphoto
but even so, I will never, ever promise anything to a child.

11. Boys tend to give it to you straight.

11. Boys tend to give it to you straight.istock/Kativ
Little girls want to explain everything.

12. Is Santa real?

12. Is Santa real?istock/Avid Creative, Inc.
"Well," I reply, pinching myself and grimacing, "I feel real."

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13.
 I’ve been kicked in the shins, hit in the groin, scratched, bitten, and peed on.

13.
 I’ve been kicked in the shins, hit in the groin, scratched, bitten, and peed on.istock/ArtMarie
But there’s a reason I keep doing this year after year: This is the best work I’ve ever found.

14. I’m not an orthodontist, either.

14. I’m not an orthodontist, either. istock/binabina
Don’t ask me to tell your child why she needs to stop sucking her thumb.

15. Nobody’s facial hair curls like this naturally.”

15. Nobody’s facial hair curls like this naturally.” istock/Lusoimages
That’s why they invented curling irons and got2b Glued Styling Spiking Glue.

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16. You’re ruining the fun.

16. You’re ruining the fun. istock/evgenyatamanenko
I’ve noticed a lot of you have started telling your kids the truth about me a lot younger than you used to. Sometimes you spoil things before your child even asks the question, just because you’re worried he’ll hear it from someone else. Please stop.

17. Shhhhh, don’t tell…

17. Shhhhh, don’t tell… istock/arinahabich
But a few of us are Jewish.      

18. Santa’s family almost never gets to spend the holiday with him on Dec. 25.

18. Santa’s family almost never gets to spend the holiday with him on Dec. 25. istock/franckreporter
Most of us schedule a delayed celebration for early January.      

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19. Being Santa can be…complicated.

19. Being Santa can be…complicated.istock/svetikd
When my daughter was in grade school, the teacher requested a conference to discuss some issues: “She’s under the firm belief that you are Santa Claus.”      

20. I’m not a puppy.

20. I’m not a puppy. istock/STidwell
So please don’t pet me like one.    

21. Very few of us do this full time.

21. Very few of us do this full time. istock/anandaBGD
We’re truck drivers and salesmen, engineers and schoolteachers. Lots of us are retired.    

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22. It’s hard not to sweat in our heavy wool suits.

22. It’s hard not to sweat in our heavy wool suits. istock/nu1983
To make sure we smell nice, some of us sprinkle baby powder in our beards; others use evergreen-scented colognes and sprays. And we’re always sucking on breath mints.    

23. Think your child’s request is over-the-top?

23. Think your child’s request is over-the-top? istock/HadelProductions
I’ve been asked for giraffes, pigs, and elephants, for visits from Hannah Montana and Elmo, even for a cookbook for mom because she’s not a good cook.      

24. Speaking of good hygiene…

24. Speaking of good hygiene… istock/Reptile8488
Please take your barely potty-trained two-year-old to the restroom before you get in line. Soil my suit, and it’s coal for you, buster.    

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25. I love the kids, but my favorites are the little old ladies in nursing homes.

25. I love the kids, but my favorites are the little old ladies in nursing homes.istock/Squaredpixels
When they sit on my lap (which they love to do!), they turn into kids themselves, and their favorite Christmas memories come pouring out.

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