Coco Warner ReportingIf you think you're over-extended during the holidays, try being Santa Claus. Every day he's in our shopping malls, dressed in the traditional red and white, asking child after child what they want for Christmas. We tagged along Friday to get a glimpse inside a mall Santa's typical morning.
He's the hardest working man in any business right now, Santa Claus, and all his many helpers in shopping malls everywhere. For many children, their first Christmas experience is sitting on a stranger's lap, getting their picture taken, and hoping they're on the "nice" list.
I'm sure he's making his list and checking it twice. But right now, he's posing for picture after picture and asking everyone what they want for Christmas. Santa's work, it seems, is never done.
For "Santa Joel” being Santa began 10 years ago on a dare, and you could say it snow balled from there. This is his second year at the Layton Hills Mall. He says the kids make you laugh, cry, and sometimes both.
"Santa" Joel: “A little kid said, ‘I’ve been so good, I’ve been peeing in the potty,’ and I says, ‘What would you like to get?’ ‘I just want to be able to do that every time.’ And so I thought, okay!”
You might think a mall Santa's biggest challenge would be a nervous child, but what about a difficult gift request?
Santa Joel: "He says, ‘I was taken away from my parents and I would like to have them back,’ and you know, you just don't know how to answer some of those questions."
But even if this Santa doesn't have all the answers, he likes being asked the questions.
Santa Joel: "That's probably the best part of it, is just the fun in watching the kids eyes, oh it's the real Santa Claus."
Santa Joel says when he's all dressed up as St. Nick, even his own grandkids don't recognize him.