Complaints on Facebook get mall Santa fired

A Santa who might well have been slightly misanthropic is fired by a mall in Portland, Maine after parents plague the Mall's Facebook page with whining.

Chris Matyszczyk
3 min read
The Santa in question. WGME-TV Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

If you thought that Santa was immune from social media's self-righteous stare, then you must still believe he's real.

This has been conclusively proved at the Maine Mall in Portland, where Santa didn't seem to be having a great day.

Well, if you've got snotty, self-centered kids crawling all over you, shrieking like circus parakeets, wouldn't you get your baggy pants in a twist occasionally?

As the Daily Dot has it, this Santa (yes, there really are more than one) might have taken the "n" out of the middle and placed it at the end. For he endeared himself very little.

So distressed and disturbed moms did what any responsible modern mother would do: they went to the Maine Mall Facebook page and vented.

Mom Jess Mailhiot offered the frightful accusation that Santa refused to have his picture taken with her daughter unless mom bought the $20 photo package -- which the mall had clearly labeled as optional.

Those with a keen commercial nose might regard Santa's attitude as no different from Apple, Microsoft, or anyone else who wants to subtly operate a closed garden.

But then Mailhiot and her 6-year-old daughter, Chantel, went on WGME-TV to express their pain.

"He put his hands on his lap so that I couldn't go on," little Chantel told WGME-TV. Well, perhaps Santa was cold or had sudden digestional problems.

"He didn't even ask if she was good," complained her mom. Perhaps he's that unusual gentleman who doesn't like to pry.

In any case, the story moved other moms to descend on the mall's Facebook page.

One mom accused him of "breaking all of my kids' hearts." Another, Ka Judice wrote: "He made my 11 year old son cry -- basically told him he was being greedy."

Perhaps the 11-year-old asked for a Maserati. Perhaps Santa took it upon himself to not merely be a purveyor of warmth, but of truth too.

The Maine Mall saw some of these comments and addressed them as quickly as it could. Although it wished that the moms had talked to its management in the old-fashioned way -- in person.

"Facebook responses are a LOT harder to answer so please forgive the brevity!" wrote the mall's harassed social media person (a poor, harassed manager, one suspects).

Indeed, one poster was sympathetic to the mall's social media plight.

Craig Richardson wrote:

What do you expect when EVERYONE in the country wants to harp on them? They even say that if you want a personal apology to call them, instead everyone wants to hide behind their computer and bitch and moan. The mall was made aware of the situation and corrected it, period, the end! It's not the end of the world people, s**t happens, get over it. You will still shop there anyway...

You will have imagined by now that the mall fired Santa and replaced him with someone sweeter, who will indulge all the kiddies' most heartfelt wishes.

The supposedly bad Santa may well have been channeling his inner Billy Bob Thornton.

There are signs, though, that some moms will now try to channel their inner capitalist.

Take this post from Kelsey Frost:

So if we bought photos with 'grumpy' Santa can we come back and get a good picture for free. It was my baby's first Christmas and between the horrible set-up, (Sports Authority sign in the picture) to the horrible Santa her first Christmas picture is ruined. I want a picture with 'happy' Santa!

I am sure when baby grows up, baby will be very grateful.