13+ Things Your Mall Santa Won’t Tell You
Mall Santas share their secrets, and impart a few special tips for parents at Christmastime.
By Michelle Crouch from Reader's Digest
1. Some of us get bonuses for making our daily photo quota.
So please forgive me if I try to move things along.
2. Never force your screaming kid onto my lap.
Just bring him close and give me a few minutes.
3. Want to have more than just a few seconds with me?
Skip the mall. Let’s meet at your kid’s preschool or a photo studio that invites Santa in for special portraits.
4. I make around $10,000 a season doing this, but cut me some slack.
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?
Ask my lawyer.
6. I’m sorry Grandma is in heaven or that Mom and Dad have split up.
But even Santa can only do so much, so let’s just stick with what you’d like to unwrap on the big day.
7. As a matter of fact, I did go to school for this.
Topics of study: how to hold children, manage sticky conversations, and care for my hair and beard.
8. I don’t have total recall.
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.
But the best of the rest of us pay as much as $3,000 to wig makers to make us authentic-looking whiskers.
10. I see you vigorously nodding your head,
but even so, I will never, ever promise anything to a child.
11. Boys tend to give it to you straight.
Little girls want to explain everything.
12. Is Santa real?
"Well," I reply, pinching myself and grimacing, "I feel real."
I’ve been kicked in the shins, hit in the groin, scratched, bitten, and peed on.
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.
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.”
That’s why they invented curling irons and got2b Glued Styling Spiking Glue.
16. You’re ruining the fun.
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
17. Shhhhh, don’t tell…
But a few of us are Jewish.
18. Santa’s family almost never gets to spend the holiday with him on Dec. 25.
Most of us schedule a delayed celebration for early January.
19. Being Santa can be…complicated.
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.
So please don’t pet me like one.
21. Very few of us do this full time.
We’re truck drivers and salesmen, engineers and schoolteachers. Lots of us are retired.
22. It’s hard not to sweat in our heavy wool suits.
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
23. Think your child’s request is over-the-top?
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…
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.
25. I love the kids, but my favorites are the little old ladies in nursing homes.
When they sit on my lap (which they love to do!), they
turn into kids themselves, and their favorite Christmas memories come