Back in the late 1990s, I almost ended up being a mall Santa.

When it comes to being Santa, there are certain qualities one must possess to be successful, at least in my opinion. You must be older, jolly, preferably with a real white beard — not a tall order.

We’ve come a long way with mall Santas and have done away with guys with fake beards and pillows to make them look chubbier. Most of the Santas you find nowadays look legit and sell it fantastically.

So, let’s jump back about 20 years to 1999. I’m 16 years old and was looking for a seasonal job to make some extra cash for the holidays. I went to a mall in Orange County and applied to be one of Santa’s little helpers, at least I thought I did.

There wasn’t really an interview process, it was more like, “okay just come in on Saturday and we’ll see if we need help.

Well, that Saturday I showed up to the mall to see if they needed help. I walked into the back room and was bombarded upon entering. Before I could introduce myself or explain why I was there, this lady very aggressively threw the Santa suit at me and said, “put this on!”

Here I am, thinking that I’m going to be taking the pictures and wearing some stupid elf ears while helping the kids. However, that was not the case, and now I was faced with attempting to be SANTA! Are you kidding me?

As I said, I was 16 years old, not one hair on my face, and about 150 pounds. Not your typical Santa in the least bit. They didn’t even have boots for me to wear, so I was expected to dress up as Santa while wearing Nikes. I’m sure nobody would’ve noticed that.

Just imagine being called out for being a fake Santa in front of a bunch of children. It would've been disastrous.

I told the lady there was some confusion, and I was not putting the suit on as they didn’t have a complete outfit, much less any organization at all. This didn’t go over too well with her, and I was asked to leave.

It wasn't really being Santa that bothered me, but rather the fact that the lady was so rude and aggressive, and having no opportunity to prepare for something like that.

So, since that day, I've left being Santa to the professionals.

Listen to Smitty in the Afternoon weekdays from 2PM to 7PM on 101.5 WPDH. Stream us live through the website, Alexa-enabled device, Google Home or the WPDH mobile app.

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