Why I Don’t Take My Kids To See Santa

Tell me, do you trudge over to the shopping mall with the kiddies to see Santa Claus?

It sounds like such a nice idea, doesn’t it?

I mean, to have a picture of the children with Santa Claus all rosy cheeked and smiling…a dreamy sight to see. You can send the said sweet picture to all your family and friends by e-mail, give a copy to the grandparents, and have it as a memory for the year, and forevermore.

So why am I not bringing my kids to see Santa? Read on.

Shopping mall Santas are very rarely the vision of Santa that you or your children imagine. By four years old, children understand there is a man playing a role at the shopping mall. And when the role isn’t played well, get ready for the questions!

Mama, why is Santa wearing a fake beard?

Mama, why doesn’t Santa have rosy cheeks?

Mama, he didn’t ho ho ho.

Mama, Santa smelt funny.

Mama, why isn’t Santa smiling?

…and the best one to date,

Mama, why is Santa speaking French to me?

This all happened two years ago when we went to the magical holiday show at a shopping mall near our place. It advertised princesses, elves and other character singing in a festive show sure to please children of all ages. And the piece de resistance was that Santa would be there as well.

The children were thrilled to go but that all changed shortly after we arrived.

It was overcrowded and unorganized for the amount of people there. Sadly, as all stupid, I mean determined parents do at least once, we stayed and tried to make the most of it since we had made it this far and had to give something to the children to remember.

Oh and they remember…

I suppose by now it is a distant enough memory, and I’d like to keep it that way.

Not all Santas are bad. But you can never be sure who will be the Santa in your shopping mall and how your children will react.

Why not organize your own event with a Santa you have met beforehand. We were lucky to have a super duper Santa come to our children’s preschool each year. He was so realistic and jolly. And the lead up to his entrance was priceless – we waited for the sounds of reindeer and bells.

If you have been asked all the questions and your children are still young enough to  believe but not sure who they saw at the shopping mall, here is our staple answer now: the men at the stores are there as helpers to Santa to spread cheer before the big day. Besides, Santa is way to busy to be at shopping malls so close to Christmas.

So tell me, have you had a good experience or a bad experience or no experience at all with shopping mall Santas?

I’d love to read your comments below.

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Janet December 2, 2014 at 6:17 pm

This is all SO TRUE! We go to a small get-together that has a Santa so we can (thankfully) avoid the mall. We took my daughter to a mall for a Santa picture her first Christmas though, and were surprised to see a (very) skinny Santa instead of the chubby one we were expecting! Luckily she was too young to wonder but it definitely turned me off of mall Santas. No thanks!

Julia a.k.a Mama MOE December 3, 2014 at 5:25 am

Nice, Janet! A skinny Santa just won’t do! 🙂 Shopping in a mall is hectic enough, no need to add to that!

Xenia Paterson December 3, 2014 at 12:30 am

My 7 yr old twin girls have never been interested in going to see Santa. They have never liked the idea of sitting on a strangers lap and I have never forced the issue. My mom told me that my sisters and I were exactly the same and she never forced us either. I guess it runs in the family. lol So many other ways to make holiday memories that I really never even give it a second thought.

Julia a.k.a Mama MOE December 3, 2014 at 5:24 am

Now my little ones are the same. It really isn’t interesting to them since their unusually unhappy Santa saw them a couple of years back. I’m with you, other memories are good for us 🙂

Kerry Sauriol December 3, 2014 at 4:31 am

Well we have always said that the mall Santa is NOT the real Santa but works for him and is one of his reps. So my kid just figure it is a time for photos and to run through their list. NOT a big deal. Also if you time it right you can usually beat the crowds and lineups…

Julia a.k.a Mama MOE December 3, 2014 at 5:23 am

That’s true, Kerry. The lineups are the worst! So running through the list with Santa’s rep, huh? I like it 😉

Sherasaurus December 15, 2015 at 4:00 pm

What kind of mama are you?!?!?!?! (kidding). I agree man cause is Santa or the mall are not at their optimal performance to bring that xmas magic, it’s not fun to answer those questions. Feels like gambling in hopes Santa is on point. Besides company Santa always beat Mall Santa 🙂


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