Mall Santa fired for being naughty, not nice

Mall Santa fired from his job at The Maine Mall after parents reported that he was rude and grumpy. Santa was fired after a local TV station aired a story and parents posted complaints about him on Facebook.

(AP Photo/The Orange County Register, Mindy Schauer)
The right way to play Santa Claus: Nathaniel Torres, 4, of Fullerton, Calif. sits with Santa at Westminster mall. A Santa at The Maine Mall in South Portland was fired after parents complained about his attitude and comments.

 A mall in Maine has sacked Santa Claus after children and parents complained he was rude, grumpy and wouldn't even let one child sit on his lap.

Officials at the Maine Mall in South Portland say they're looking for a jollier Santa and hope to have him in place Thursday.

Jessica Mailhiot and her 6-year-old daughter, Chantel, went to see Santa this week. They tell WGME-TV that he was rude and wouldn't let the girl sit on his lap when they said they didn't want to buy a $20 photo.

Chantel says when she asked Santa for an American Girl doll, he replied she'd get an "American football."

RECOMMENDED: How much do you know about Christmas traditions? Take the quiz

When the mom posted her story online, others shared similar experiences on "The Maine Mall" Facebook page.

"Got to tell you just got home from the mall and had the worst experience in 10 years with Santa today my youngest was scared to death and he wouldn't even talk to her. This was something my 2 oldest kids always looked forward to and having pictures to remember it by," wrote Stacey Knight.

"If any of you have little ones DON'T bring them to see Santa at The Maine Mall. One mom and her little girl came all the way just to see him, but because they had no money for pictures she was not allowed to say hi and put his hands across his lap so she couldn't even sit on him. The little girl was heartbroken. I understand money issues and

all, but don't be cold and heartless to innocent children who still believe in Santa. That's NOT okay. Go elsewhere with your kids. Just because a family has no money doesn't mean the children should be treated as such crap. It ruins the holiday spirit. Be traditional, ask the child what they want, no pictures at all, and they can leave happy. THEN WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT? BECAUSE ITS VERY SAD!!!!!!!!!!" wrote Karmen LeWCSH 6.

The Maine Mall Management responded on Facebook to the complaints about a $20 picture fee required to visit with Santa:

" We're not sure where she heard that from, but purchasing pictures are optional. There was a lot of confusion resulting from a very grumpy Santa Claus, but our policy is still that any child who wants to visit Santa can do so for free. We have a new Santa who started today who shares this belief with us, and we were delighted to see him happily waving and chatting with kids as they passed. We're still keeping our eyes and ears opened for folks affected by bad experiences before this gentleman's arrival, so feel free to pass our management office number along to your daughter if she knows of someone who deserves an apology. That number is 207-828-2063."

The station contacted the Santa, but he didn't want to comment.

RECOMMENDED: How much do you know about Christmas traditions? Take the quiz


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Mall Santa fired for being naughty, not nice
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today