- The Washington Times
Tuesday, December 8, 2020

An Illinois mall Santa Claus resigned this week after a now-viral video showed him telling a young boy he couldn’t bring him a Nerf gun for Christmas.

The Santa at Harlem Irving Plaza in Norridge, who was later dubbed “Woke Santa” on social media, was seen telling the boy “no guns” and causing the boy to burst into tears.

“Not even a Nerf gun,” Santa said in the video posted on Facebook Sunday. “Nope. 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? There’s lots of other toys — there’s Legos, bicycles, there’s cars and trucks. What do you think?”

“It’s OK!” Santa said as the boy began to cry. “Don’t cry.”

The boy’s mother then rushed to his side and assured him, “You’ll still get it,” as he continued to sob.

“My poor baby,” Sabella DeCarlo later wrote on Facebook. “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.”

Harlem Irving Plaza said it and their third-party Santa company were “distraught and deeply apologetic” over the Santa’s behavior.

“Santa is heartbroken and crushed that he has made this child so sad and upset, and turned in his resignation,” the company wrote on Facebook. “The Santa company will continue to remind all Santa’s how important it is to not impose personal opinions during visits with the children.”

The mall said the “real Santa” showed up at the boy’s house Monday with the Nerf gun he asked for. It posted a video showing the new Santa presenting the child with a wrapped gift from the “North Pole.”

“This is crazy! Thanks!” the boy, named Michael, yelled as he ripped open the present.

The original video went viral on Twitter, with conservatives such as Robby Starbuck and Dana Loesch offering to buy Nerf guns for Michael. Ms. DeCarlo thanked the mall for making things right and encouraged others to buy Nerf guns for other boys and girls who may want them.

“It will be a great lesson for him to learn too, 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!” she wrote.

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.