Confessions of a Shopping Mall Santa

Glenn Stewart Coles as Santa

Glenn Stewart Coles as Santa

As I walk into the room, I wave my arm and everyone cheers. Like the Pied Piper of Hamlin, a flick of the wrist causes children to approach in swarms. The magic of Santa Claus has returned, and is now appearing at a shopping mall near you.

Yes, it is true. I am one of the lucky souls who don the red and white suit at Christmas. With fake beard and furry hat, my identity is hidden as I play the ancient role of Father Christmas. Blessed with the power to bring joy and the ability to fulfill a thousand wishes, Santa Claus represents many things to young and old.

santa-with-crying-kidFor some children, a visit to Santa is the ultimate joy. They approach with eyes wide, smiling in wonder when they finally get to meet the special man. Some children run to me with arms open, anticipating the best hug they can ever imagine. Some children come prepared with long lists of desired gifts. Some children are very afraid of the experience, fearful of the strange looking man with the furry face. While the reactions are many and unique to each child, a visit to Santa is sure to be memorable.

One little boy, about six years old, brought a bag of toys for Santa to look at. When I opened the bag, it was filled with superheroes, from Spiderman to Wolverine. The boy was amazed that Santa was so knowledgeable of superheroes, and had brought the bag to show me what he already possessed so that I could bring him the rest. His younger brother was too scared to approach Santa, and I informed the older brother that he would always be a hero to his sibling. The gift that he received was not another plastic toy, but the ability to be a superhero himself.

SantaVisitsforKidsWithAutistmInTheNewsA little girl asked for a green Cinderella dress, green Cinderella shoes, and wings. I asked if she liked to fly, and she responded that she hasn’t tried it yet. Numerous young girls ask for princess outfits, and each one walks away knowing that she is already a princess.

A woman in her thirties came to the booth and revealed that she visits every year to ask for a hug. I stood up to hug her, and rather than a standard hug, I taught her the heart hug. Usually when people hug, they place their chins on the right shoulder of their hugging partner. Instead, the heart hug involves crossing over and placing chins on the left shoulder. This position serves to align the heart chakras, and results in a deeper hug. The woman left with a smile and a candy cane.

santa-hugPlaying Santa allows me to interact with people, particularly children, at a time when their expectations, hopes and fears are at a high level. The few moments that they spend with their idol offer potential for a life-shifting experience, and I do my best to provide special moments for each visitor. While in my Santa costume, I am also doing energy work, staying very grounded and emanating Reiki energy through my hands. Many children are aware, and enjoy the warmth of healing energy.

Being able to play Santa is a special privilege, and requires special focus. Each visitor is unique, and while I do my best to give special moments, I receive many special moments in return. Like all aspects of love and generosity, what goes around comes around.

In Santa is a Healer I explain how I applied Reiki to my visitors.

©Copyright 2015 Glenn Stewart Coles

As an empathic healer, I recognized that each visit was special and each child deserved my best efforts to provide a good experience. However, this scene from the classic “A Christmas Story” always makes me laugh.

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