Norridge, IL – The man playing Santa Claus at Harlem Irving Plaza on Sunday afternoon acted more like Scrooge when he told a little boy that he couldn’t have a Nerf gun for Christmas (video below).
The incident occurred on Dec. 6 at the shopping mall in Norridge when Sabella DeCarlo took her little boy to see Santa, according to a Facebook post the mother made that has since gone viral.
DeCarlo shared a video of her son’s horrible experience with the opinionated Kris Kringle on her Facebook page.
The video showed that the little boy was seated on a socially-distant bench across a desk from Santa.
“What do you want for Christmas?” Santa asked the little boy in the video.
“I don’t know,” the little boy replied.
Then the nervous child worked up the nerve to tell Santa that he wanted a gun, the video showed.
“No, I – nope. No guns,” Santa told the child.
“A Nerf gun,” his mother clarified for the jolly guy in the red suit.
“Nope, not even a Nerf gun,” Santa told the child.
The little boy’s head snapped around and he looked at his mother in horror and disbelief, the video showed.
“Nope,” Santa told him again. “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?” Santa asked.
The little boy’s face crumpled and he began to cry, the video showed.
His mother went over to him and held him for a moment, but the little boy cried even harder.
The video showed Santa made no effort to clean up the mess he’d made during the most magical time of the year.
“You’ll still get it,” the furious mother told her sobbing child.
DeCarlo posted the upsetting video to Facebook along with a rant about what had happened.
“My poor baby,” the angry mother’s post began. “This was the first year Michael was excited to go see Santa. It was supposed to be magical but instead I had to watch my sweet little boy fight back tears because Santa told him No because of his own personal beliefs.”
“I had to think fast and explain to him that this Santa was just a helper and not the real guy. I just wanted to console my baby and get him out of there, flipping out on Santa would have only made it worse,” DeCarlo explained.
“His Elfie is going to bring him a Nerf gun directly from the North Pole, from the real Santa, tonight,” she added.
DeCarlo later updated her Facebook post and said she had heard back from the management of Harlem Irving Plaza and that they have a special surprise for her son to make up for their Santa ruining his experience.
On Monday, Harlem Irving Plaza posted a video to its own Facebook page that added another chapter to the little boy’s Christmas story.
The video showed a Santa Claus knocked on the DeCarlos’ front door and Michael answered it.
“Michael, how are you? So there was a mistake made yesterday, huh?” Santa asked the little boy in the new video.
Yeah!” Michael agreed with the man in the red suit.
Santa Claus explained that he had heard about what happened at the North Pole and rushed down to Illinois to fix the problem, the video showed.
He handed the little boy a big wrapped gift to open.
The video showed Santa Claus had brought Michael a fancy Nerf gun.
The little boy was delighted and he thanked Santa and immediately began tearing open the box.
“This is crazy, this thing,” Michael said as he saw the size of his new Nerf gun.
Then Santa Claus did a magic trick and DeCarlo pointed out to her son that this Santa must be the real Kris Kringle, the video showed.
The shopping mall posted a lengthy apology and explanation along with the video that said the anti-gun Santa Claus was no longer working at the plaza.
“The HIP and our third-party Santa company are distraught and deeply apologetic about the unfortunate incident which occurred at Santa set on December 6, as both parties strive for families and their children to have a happy holiday experience,” the post began.
“Santa is heartbroken and crushed that he has made this child so sad and upset, and turned in his resignation,” the mall’s management wrote. “The Santa company will continue to remind all Santa’s how important it is to not impose personal opinions during visits with the children.”
“HIP immediately contacted the family and worked with our Santa company in hopes of rectifying the situation. We are happy to report that the ‘real’ Santa visited the boy at his home today to bring him a nerf gun! We hope we restored Christmas magic to this boy and his family with Santa’s special visit.”
The Police Tribune reached out to the Harlem Irving Company and Sabella DeCarlo for comment but had not received responses at publication time.
Watch the incident unfold in the videos below: