Huntington Mall invites community to celebrate the holidays with Santa

Santa Claus made a special trek halfway across the world to spread holiday cheer. Ushered in by a team of reindeer and followed by a Christmas train, Santa Claus made his grand arrival at the Huntington Mall Saturday, Nov. 16.

“Everyone remembers when they sat on Santa’s lap, wrote him a letter or left cookies out for a snack,” Donna Chapman, a coordinator of Santa’s arrival at the mall, said. “We try to emulate the same good memories for kids today, even though Christmas can be really stressful for adults.” 

Though the holiday season can be a difficult time for some parents due to stress, the Huntington Mall is organizing events with Santa Claus throughout the rest of November and December, allowing plenty of time for those with busy schedules to give their kids an opportunity to meet ole’ St. Nick himself. 

“No parent deserves to feel guilty because they have to work extra hours and can’t make it to one specific Saturday with Santa,” Chapman said. “He’s a lot of fun as it is, why not keep him around for a little longer? That way kids have the chance to experience something that so many wish for every Christmas, and parents get to see some big smiles,” she added with a smile. 

Children had the opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what they wanted for Christmas; some dressed in their finest festive pajamas.

“I knew this Christmas was going to be tougher than most,” Rachel Glover, a mother and attendee of the event, said. 

Her daughter, Ella Glover, video chatted with her father, who is currently deployed in the armed forces, while on Santa’s lap.

“I wish he was here with us right now, but I’m still so happy we get to have such a great experience,” Glover said. “I’ll never forget this.”

The big man himself, the actor who played Santa, said that the Christmas spirit is often hard to come by nowadays, but not when clad in a big red suit. 

“The beard really makes the outfit,” Robert Hager, father and actor who played Santa Claus, said. “It’s an amazing experience to be able to make even one child happy, let alone their family.” 

Hager went on to describe what Christmas spirit means to him.

“Christmas spirit is about doing good things for other people, and I know meeting Santa at the mall does not present stress to parents or children,” Hager said. “It’s a great experience to be a part of, plus being escorted by reindeer was just icing on the cake.”

Chapman also said pet owners with “fur children” will have the opportunity to get pictures of their animals with Santa during the holiday season as well. 

Sarah Rowe can be contacted at [email protected]