If you’re naughty, Santa gives you coal (or a spanking, if you’re also Kendall Jenner). But what happens when Santa is naughty? As these real-life bad Santas prove, you usually get fired or arrested. Or both.
1. Santa and His “Allergies”: Earlier this month, a 7-year-old autistic girl, Abcde Santos, went to visit Santa at The Shops at Mission Viejo, but was turned away after waiting for 30 minutes because Santa was afraid of her service dog, Pup-Cake. Even when Abcde’s family offered to send her up alone, Santa refused because of “allergies.” Later, the mall said they were having him replaced by someone “more compassionate.”
2. Santa and His Personal Space: A mall Santa in Maine was fired in 2012 because he kept making kids cry. Parents flooded the mall’s Facebook with complaints like, “He made my 11-year-old son cry – basically told him he was being greedy.” One parent even said Santa put his hands across his lap so [my daughter] couldn’t even sit “ on his lap.
3. Santa and His Big Secret: Another mall Santa was let go this year after he told a 9-year-old that Santa wasn’t real. When Sophie Robinson went to visit her local Santa in the U.K., as her mom claims, “she got to the front of the queue [and] the man dressed as Santa Claus turned round and said she was too old to visit Father Christmas.”
4. Santa and His Lack of Sensitivity: Here’s another bad Santa who told kids he isn’t real. And then he one-upped himself by telling three U.K. kids aged 6, 7, and 10 about the Sandy Hook shooting. "Well there are bad people in the world and bad things happen,” the kids’ dad claims Santa said. “Like what happened to those children in America."
5. Santa and the Angry Duck Boat: Last year, a drunk man dressed as Santa had the cops called on him when he was refused a free ride on a “Ride the Ducks” boat in Seattle, tried to sneak onto the boat, and ended up tearing down a string of lights on the side of the boat. In the end, officers “reported the incident and released Santa.” BTW, this happened at 6:30p.m.
6. Santa and His Designated Biker: The year before that drunk Santa, another drunk Santa caused a different scene outside a mall, when he puked, face planted, tried to ride away on a bike, face planted again, argued with a cop for over a minute, was handcuffed, and eventually taken away. And the whole thing was caught on video.
7. Santa and His “Special” Eggnog: At least neither of the aforementioned drunk Santas were mall Santas. This one was: In 2011, a 73-year-old mall Santa was arrested for public intoxication at the Cornwall Centre in Saskatchewan, Canada, when other mall employees noticed he was “slurring his speech and stumbling.”
8. Santa and His Not-So-Festive Shots: That same year, police in Berlin reported a man dressed as Santa was offering people “shots of alcohol in a paper cup” at a local Christmas market. One 15-year-old girl accepted, immediately started puking, and was rushed to the hospital where a blood test showed the drink had been doused. Eight others experienced similar incidents.
9. Santa and His Missing Santa Suit: Black Friday shoppers in Marlboro, Mass. got a little extra bang for their buck this year when 18-year-old Eric Watterson hit up Solomon Pond Mall at midnight wearing nothing but a strategically placed Santa hat. When police arrested him — for lewdness and disturbing the peace — he claimed it was “a satirical art project.”
10. Santa and His Sack of Stolen Cash: Usually Santa uses his sack to carry toys to all the good little boys and girls around the world. This Santa didn’t get that memo: Last month, a man dressed as Santa entered a post office in Melbourne, Australia at 11:30a.m., demanded money, then hopped over the counter to fill his Santa sack himself.
11. Santa and His Holiday Bank Heist: “Tis better to give than to receive” is a philosophy this Santa does not subscribe to: a 40-something man in a Santa hat, fake beard, and fanny pack robbed a bank in Solana Beach, Cali. at gunpoint last month. He asked for “large bills” then fled, not by sleigh, but on a bike and is now wanted by the FBI.
12. Santa and the Elf HR Department: Massachusetts mall Santa Herbert Jones, 62, was arrested on assault and battery charges last year after pinching an 18-year-old elf’s butt. When cops questioned him, Jones claimed, “I did not touch that women.” (Very Bill Clinton-y.) A judge ordered Jones not to dress up as Santa any more that holiday season.
13. Santa and the Case of Mistaken Identity: Police ended up seeing double when they were called to a Fort Wayne, Ind. McDonald’s this month to remove an unwanted Santa who was causing a “disturbance.” When they arrived, there were two Santas, though the manager told officers that one had been hired. The other was “inviting children to sit on his lap, just like the other one.” When police asked for his name, he responded “Santa Claus.”
Always remember: Santa is probably just an anagram for Satan.
Here’s something a little more festive: ET’s 2014 holiday playlist!