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Golden Triangle Mall Santa shares behind the scenes, what he does when it's not Christmas

Profile image for Julia Falcon, Staff Writer
Julia Falcon, Staff Writer

Children are making their lists and Santa Claus is checking to see who's naughty or nice. Golden Triangle Mall is bustling with shoppers.

Santa, who is spending his first holiday season at the mall in Denton, sits in the center of the mall on his cushioned green bench under a big wooden arbor, eagerly waiting for children to line up to see him. Kids are offered Pokemon balls or reindeer antlers.

Previous to Golden Triangle, Santa spent some time at malls and Bass Pro Shops around Lake Charles in Louisiana.

Golden Triangle general manager Matt Ludemann, said the company that does photos for the mall, New Jersey-based Cherry Hill Programs, hired Santa for them this year.

Santa said he has been doing this his whole life and was born into the job.

"Generally, the look on the child's face when they come up and realize they are coming to see Santa [is the best part]," he said. "There was one little girl who hopped up on the bench next to me and I thought she just wanted a hug, but she came for a peck on the cheek, that was cute. It's things like that, that stick with you."

Ludemann said Santa has gone without a hitch this year.

"We get a lot of comments on the photos that get taken,"  he said. "Everyone so far has enjoyed Santa this year and things are running smoothly."

Escorted to his break by a mall employee, Santa is approached by kids of all ages for selfies, autographs and simple greetings 

During his hour-long break, Santa relaxes in a room at the back of the mall with a bottle of milk and his red iPhone. Sprawled out all over his table are combs, Twisted Peppermint spray from Bath and Body Works and some snacks.

He hangs up his cane and takes off his hat and jacket, which reveals a Santa charm necklace he said the elves made for him. He checks Facebook or sees what his elves are up to at the North Pole by keeping constant contact with Bernard, his head elf. 

"Mrs. Claus is at the North Pole baking cookies for me," Santa said. "I'll eat any cookie you put out, even oatmeal raisin. I've had spinach cookies before though, those were interesting. I ended up feeding them to my reindeer."

As his break comes to an end, he shapes up his beard and refreshes himself with the peppermint spray.

He prepares to be asked for things ranging from whoopee cushions to weed-eaters and lawnmowers. 

"I do get a lot of cry babies, and if they're by themselves, I'll scream with them," Santa said. "It makes a great picture. It works."

After he is done making his rounds to homes with good boys and girls, which he credits the speedy-ness of his trips to a flux capacitor, Santa said he, Mrs. Claus and the dogs they rescue head to their vacation home in Corpus Christi. There, he enjoys sitting on their balcony and watching the ocean waves.

"I love the kids," Santa said. "If there was a perfect job in life for me, it's Santa. Where else can you do what you like and be happy?"

From Nov. 18 until Christmas Eve, kids of all ages can come see Santa during mall hours, except when he takes his milk and cookie breaks from 1 to 2 p.m. and 5 to 6 p.m.