Being a mall Santa is such a thankless job.
Dealing with annoying parents, hysterical children and teenage elf helpers is a lot to handle for Saint Nick himself, much less his retail counterpart.
Sometimes kids ask for the weirdest things and these former mall Santas will tell you all about them.
Redditor DoubleRemand asked:
"Mall Santas of Reddit, what is the weirdest thing a kid asked for Christmas?"
Not a Santa, but I have been a Mrs. Claus for the last few years and I always ask the kids what they want while we do our crafts.
My favorite was this 4-5 year old girl that told me she wanted "one of those loud horns". She made a gesture like she was using those canned air horns and she made a little horn sound. She said she wants to use it to wake up her baby brother when he naps in the daytime so he "knows what it's like."
My sister asked Santa for "Black Men" for Christmas. She meant "Men in Black."Giphy
I was an assistant manager for a mall Santa with Noerr Programs. There was a special needs 20-something black guy that would come by nearly every day. He easily weighed more than 250 pounds so we did eventually convince him to sit next to Santa instead of on his lap.
Every time he had to remind Santa what he wanted for Christmas. His list was Home Alone on DVD, Straight Outta Compton on DVD, and Prince's 1999 album on CD. Santa was awesome and brought him the Prince CD a few days before Christmas.
What every child wants.
After waiting two hours in line my daughter asked Santa for a hot dog.
But then I had to get up and make pancakes on Christmas morning instead of being lazy.
A young entrepreneur.
My uncle was a Santa and he told me that one year a kid asked for a coffee maker because he wanted to start his own Starbucks coffee stand instead of a lemonade stand. Apparently business was not very good as a lemonade stand but he noticed a lot of adults drink coffee, so he'd make coffee.
That kid is probably a millionaire now.Giphy
I'm a teacher. I had one of my most difficult, obstinate, button-pusher kids come in at recess to talk to me. He said he was worried he would not get what he really wanted - to be a real elf, move to the North Pole and make all the presents. He had tears in his eyes and was the most sincere I had ever seen. Made me really appreciate how hard life was at home; he just wished for a way out.
When I was like 9 I wrote a goodbye letter to my parents telling them Santa was going to pick me up and take me to the North Pole.
I sat out in our car and waited on Santa to show up and take me away.
The most dumb thing about this was that it was the middle of the summer.
Good one, Santa.
Was a Santa at a party last week. A kid asked for a whistle that she could blow at night to wake her mom up and scare her when she was sleeping.
I said "No, that would put you on the Naughty list, let your mom sleep you little gremlin."
What a trooper.
I was a Santa in 1997 for a small, authentic Old-West village. I was 17 at the time and doing some local theater and the costume lady was asked to find someone to be Santa for the weekend. She told me she thought of me because "well you're not FAT, but you're big" (I'm 6'6"/1.98). So I put on a cheap costume that didn't fit well and the beard smelled like the last Santa threw up in it, and I waited in a prop shed in the plaza that was normally a sheriff office or something... tall, skinny, smelly Santa in a shed sitting on a plastic lawn chair.Giphy
It was no wonder all the children screamed when they were put on my lap. None of them asked for anything in fact, as they were too busy being scared of me.*
I had a pair of girls and later a pair of guys from the local Christian high school dressed as elves on the first day to take polaroids and collect money. On the second day they flaked and I was by myself all day. I charged people money to enter my creepy shed and take pictures of their own kids.
*except for one young lady who was probably older than me and severely mentally disabled. Her parents were so apologetic because she was "too old" but she sat on my lap and smiled at me with total naked joy. I can still see her face 20 years later.
Right in the feels.
Worked as an elf for a couple years and we had this "Wish Jar" that you could put slips of paper in.
A little girl wrote something down on a piece of paper and folded it and quietly slipped it into the jar. The mom came rushing back after they left asking if we could get the paper out of the jar for her. She unfolded it and in crayon it said "I want Dad to come home". The mother started crying and took it with her.
Got some other weird and sad ones but that one hit me right in the feels.
Welcome to the real world.
My kid asked santa for Thor's hammer. Christmas morning he opens up Thor's hammer. So happy. First thing he did was chuck it across the living room and into the kitchen. Dishes smash, glass all over the floor. Kid was pissed it didn't come back to him. The look on his face. Pure Christmas devastation.
I'm literally crying.
I am the picture taker for the Santa that's at the store I work at. We had a young girl, maybe 8 years old, come in. A couple days previously she had told her mom that the only thing she wanted for Christmas was to meet her dad and give him a hug. So we helped the mom set it up. We held the line, had her take a pic with Santa and then when Santa asked what she would like for Christmas and she told him "my dad" he told her "well it's not Christmas yet but I may be able to help bring your wish come true". So Santa had her knock on the door to his 'workshop' where her dad had been hiding and they met and hugged for the first time in her memory. There wasn't a dry eye in the area...
That's the best part of being an 'elf' and working Santa pictures, being able to do something special like this for someone. It really makes all the crazies and a**holes easier to deal withGiphy
When my youngest was 4 she asked Santa for a brown, yellow and pink cow so she could have Chocolate, Banana or Strawberry Milk anytime she wanted.
The best present.
When I was like, maybe 8? I asked for a jar of pickle juice. I don't remember what reactions were but they were probably pretty funny.
However I do remember that on Christmas morning I got a jar of pickles without the pickles and just the juice, all with a big bow on it. And I just drank it like that with a straw. My mom thinks it's sickening.
That's messed up.
Was a Mall Santa in the Eighties. Things were pretty routine that year as far as toy requests. Ninja Turtles, New Kids on The Block Jackets, P.J. Sparkles Dolls.
And Lego, which never gets old, kids love to build things..
One perfectly normal looking little 12 year old girl came and asked for many fire-related items. Cigarette lighters, sparklers, a barbecue lighter, wooden matches, and pink ping pong balls. I immediately balked and said she might want to get more practical presents, toys and the like.
Mom put her hand right in front of my face, laughed merrily and said her daughter was 'just going through a phase...' and, I would be looking for a job elsewhere in fifteen minutes if I didn't shut up. Okay, no words to either. Threat by Mom duly noted by every parent in line, shoppers and staff. My mall camera store folks glared at the woman, and no one said anything else. They had their pictures with Santa taken, with me utterly dead eyed, and then left. Staff were visibly upset. We took a quick 5 minute break and came back.Giphy
My boss was very concerned when I share this with him and said he knew exactly which child it was; that she was a privileged girl with very wealthy parents.
Boss: '' She'll be a newspaper headline one day kid... ''
Ten years later, I drew the now adult daughter's courtroom sketch in a capital city courtroom.
She had been charged in a string of arson related-incidents stemming from a period of over 12 years, all over the city close to major bus routes.
I have been a Santa for over 40 years. I started in a mall and then donated my services for many children's programs. Currently I'm Santa for a large county deserving children's program in Indiana. A few years ago a child climbed up on my lap and said he didn't want anything. I was taken back by the comment. He said his mother there was not going to be Christmas that year due to the family's hot water heater had broke.
I told my wife that night about the sad young man. She talked to her boss and her boss said he'd buy the hot water heater and have his maintenance guys install it. I contacted the the lady who ran the program and she traced down the kid.
On Christmas Eve the maintenance guys showed up with a new hot water heater. They said Santa sent them. The family got a new hot water heater from Santa!
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