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Mall Santa Tells Kids He’s Not Real & That’s Not Even the Worst Part

by Adriana Velez on December 20, 2012 at 8:49 PM

santaI think we found one of the worst mall Santas in history. Total hall-of-famer, here. The Kennett family brought their son and daughters to their local mall for the annual tradition of telling Santa what they want for Christmas. The kids assured Santa that they'd been good that year, and then Santa told them, "Well there are bad people in the world and bad things happen..." and then he started telling them about the shootings at Sandy Hook!

Mom put a stop to that right away, but then Santa pulled the oldest (age 10) aside and spilled the news that Santa isn't real. The poor kid ran out, crying "Santa told me he is not real, it's just you and dad," right in front of his sisters. And their sweet holiday tradition was ruined.

I'd like to pull aside this Santa and have a few words with him myself.

It sounds like the mall just grabbed some child-hating nutjob off the street for the Santa gig without doing a background check. But the man had worked for the mall for a few years, a spokesman said. This was the first complaint they'd ever gotten about him.

(This was in England, by the way. So the kids may not have even heard about the Sandy Hook tragedy -- and their parents were probably not eager to tell them.)

So what, did he just snap? He'd probably had some job with the mall doing something totally unrelated to children and maybe he just had the right belly shape for the Santa job. But it gets worse -- when the mom complained to the manager he blew her off and kept Santa on the job because he didn't want to disappoint all the other children. OH REALLY -- don't want to disappoint all those kids just waiting to have their Santa moment ruined, too, do we?!?

Eventually the bad Santa was canned. But wow, lean in close when your kids visit Santa, parents. You may want to eavesdrop to make sure he's not engaging in any un-Santa-like behavior. Yeesh.

Have you ever witnessed a mall Santa behaving inappropriately?


Image via City of Marietta, GA/Flickr


Filed Under: in the news, kid activities, christmas


  • ashle...


    December 20, 2012 at 9:24 PM
    Last year when I went shopping at the mall, the Santa was getting arrested. Apparently he was a drunk Santa and stumbled into Lasenza that day creeping on the women who work there. How silly!
  • jack...
    -- Nonmember comment from

    jack sprat

    December 20, 2012 at 9:48 PM
    Is his real name Bill Maher, perchance?
  • Vegeta


    December 21, 2012 at 12:46 AM
    My 19 year old brother was a mall santa, they don't do background checks lol. He was promising the kids whatever they wanted cause telling little kids no was too difficult (including a live giraffe!) He's too soft.
  • Rhond...


    December 21, 2012 at 9:40 AM
    Oh please, like a ten year old actually still believed the Santa myth. He probably just used it as an excuse to tell his sisters.
  • morga...


    December 21, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    If a mall Santa were to tell my boys the truth about Santa, I would be totally pissed! It's not up to others what we teach our kids. I want my boys to believe as long as they can, past age 10 would be ideal. Its a magical thing, Santa is, and why on earth would I want to take that away from them? They're only children once. Let them be little for as long as they can. My oldest is 7 and he still believes. And he has asked me if santa is real and I've told him yes.

  • Heather
    -- Nonmember comment from


    December 21, 2012 at 12:10 PM
    The Santa at our mall was so great this year! I would have been so mad if he did something like this! My almost 5 year old was starting to not believe in Santa (too soon!) until we went to see him. My 3 year old daughter is scared of him, so Santa said to us "Do you want to come up here and sit next to us like you had to do last year?" And my oldest daughter had Santa back- because he remembered us! It was pretty amazing that he did considering the amount of children he sees- but his comment completely restored her idea of Santa :)
  • jessi...


    December 21, 2012 at 12:57 PM


  • EcoErin


    December 21, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    All over Europe heard about the Sandy Hook shooting (My husband is in Denmark)
    Second, Santa is a myth, to say otherwise is lying to your kids. Whats worse finding out from some random man that Santa isnt real, or finding out your parents lied to you ever since you were born?

  • surfg...


    December 21, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    I would make sure he was fired.

  • Tina...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Tina Jackson

    December 21, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    Okay, so, the Santa talking about Sandy Hook to the children was definitely out of line. That's something that parents talk to their children about if they feel it's necessary.

    WHY does a 10 year old still believe in Santa??? That's too old. I'm surprised that kid wasn't already being picked on at school for being a "big baby". Morgani6904~ That's kind of ridiculous that you want your child to believe in Santa Clause passed age 10. How about he can believe in the magic of Christmas and giving and charity and good will towards man. Oh! And here's an idea! How about you tell your kid what Christmas really represents~ Um, the birth of Christ Jesus our Savior? Did you forget about that? CHRIST-mas

    I didn't need anyone to tell me Santa wasn't real. I figured it out at about 6 or 7 years old. I wasn't heartbroken. I wasn't traumatized. I turned into a pretty well rounded person. I have an almost 4 year old and a 2.5 month old. My 4 year old still believes in Santa and that's cool. But I will not let her be an outcast for still thinking Santa Claus is real when she enters Middle School. *smh*

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