We don’t shop in the traditional closed environment shopping malls. I haven’t been to one in months. All of the Christmas presents this year have been either ordered online or purchased at one of the nearby stores.
That’s great for avoiding long lines and traffic but it dawned on me yesterday that there’s one thing a traditional mall is good for at Christmas: Santa Claus.
If you don’t have kids you’ve probably never thought of this, but my kids saw Santa Claus just once this season and that was the day after Thanksgiving when my mom took them to the Galleria in Birmingham.
We went to the new Collierville open-air mall a couple of weekends ago and there was no Santa. We’ve been to the new Southaven open-air mall a few times, most recently today, and there was no Santa. What’s a kid to do?
“But I didn’t tell Santa that I want a Game-Boy Advance” my son said. “And I didn’t tell him I want some Junie B Jones books” said my daughter. What’s a dad to do?
We searched for him today but the closest we found was a Circuit City employee wearing a red Santa hat. Another CC worker told me she had to drive all the way to a Memphis mall just so her kids could sit on Santa’s lap. (I know Memphis isn’t that far away, but DeSoto County folks don’t want to go there unless they really really have to).
If I had thought about this earlier I would have looked into renting one of the empty buildings at the new Southaven mall, rented a Santa and a photographer to meet the needs of the good little boys and girls. Someone will probably do this by next year.
So this is the first year I won’t have video of my kids sitting on Santa’s lap. Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus…he just doesn’t stop in north Mississippi until Christmas day.