One Illinois mother was hoping for a sweet video of her son meeting with Santa Claus. What she recorded, though, was far from cute.
An unfriendly mall Santa Claus at Harlem Irving Plaza in Norridge is facing a lot of backlash on social media after he caused a little boy to cry because he lectured him about what kinds of toys he will and will not bring on Christmas Eve.
According to a video posted to Facebook Sunday by Sabella DeCarlo, the politically correct Claus told her young son he would not be getting a Nerf gun from him for Christmas this year.
“No, no guns,” the not-so-jolly St. Nicholas told the downtrodden little boy, who began to cry. “Nope, not even a Nerf gun.”
Totally unmoved by the child’s sadness, the woke Santa continued: “If your dad wants to get it for you, that’s fine, but I can’t bring it to you. What else would you like? Lots of other toys: Legos. There’s bicycles. There’s cars and trucks. What do you think?”
After the mean-spirited Man in Red turned down the little boy’s Christmas wish, his mother — who was holding a baby girl — came over in hopes of comforting her young son.
“I had to think fast and explain to him that this Santa was just a helper and not the real guy,” DeCarlo wrote. “I just wanted to console my baby and get him out of there, flipping out on Santa would have only made it worse.”
DeCarlo and her son received an outpouring of support on the internet over the weekend. So many people offered to send her son a Nerf gun, that she’s asked people to mail those gifts to them and she and her son will “pass them out to kids that aren’t as fortunate.”
“It will be a great lesson for him to learn, too,” she wrote in a follow-up Facebook post. “Some of Michael’s Christmas magic was stolen from him today, so if we can pass some along and make another child’s Christmas brighter, we would love to do it!”
The mother also thanked the staff at Harlem Irving Plaza, whom she said have “reached out to me to make it right.” She added, “We really appreciate their quick response and kindness.”
In fact, the mall staff went above and beyond to resolve the situation.
After learning about what happened with DeCarlo’s little boy, staff at the Harlem Irving Plaza said they were “distraught and deeply apologetic” for the way the “unfortunate incident” unfolded.
The man playing Santa resigned his position.
“We are happy to report that the ‘real’ Santa visited the boy at his home today to bring him a Nerf gun!” read a statement from the mall. “We hope we restored Christmas magic to this boy and his family with Santa’s special visit.”
There’s no doubt this will be a Christmas to remember for that little boy.