Christmas is often considered the best time of the year by most people, no matter where they’re from. The holidays bring out the best in everyone. There really is no one specific reason, but there’s so much to be happy about toward the end of the year. There’s the delicious food that starts to fill up kitchens everywhere, the lit-up decorations that adorn houses, the beautifully lit trees, the gift giving and the overall joyous aura that is felt in the air around the holidays. But probably the biggest figure during all these jolly times is Santa Claus himself, the character who has become synonymous with Christmas.
In fact, Santa is so big that he commands long lines of fans waiting for hours looking to simply snap a photo with him during the holidays. Men at shopping malls all over the world don the red and white suit, stuff their stomachs with a pillow (some don’t need to) and put on the white beard, transforming into good old St. Nick, ready to put a smile on the faces of children eager to ask for their most anticipated presents.
These interactions almost always turn out great and end with a happy child, but in some instances, the encounter can go south quickly for a number of reasons. Here are 25 mall Santas that make us question Christmas!
25 Brave Sisters
Not sure if these little girls are used to watching horror movies at home or are simply around weird Uncle Bob all the time, but somehow these brave little sisters seem completely unaffected by the alarming Santa mere inches from them.
His eyes alone are enough to send just about any kid running, but somehow these sisters are not only not scared, but seem genuinely excited to be hanging with scary Claus!
24 We Are Just as Confused
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and in this case, it’s worth a thousand questions. Why is Santa so thin? Why does his coat go past his knees? Why is there an eight-foot python next to him? Why is there a young lady dancing above said eight-foot python?
Why does Santa seem completely uninterested in all of this? These are all questions none of us will ever get the answers to, which is probably a good thing, in this case.
23 Horror Movie Santa
The most head-scratching part of this photo isn’t Santa’s absolutely menacing look which belongs in a blockbuster horror film set during Christmas time. It’s how in the world this toddler is able to sit on his lap without a worry in the world, proving that sometimes kids are tougher than any adult could ever be.
Maybe this is one of those instances that proves the saying “ignorance is bliss” to be true or maybe this kid is as tough as nails. Either way, this Santa will make everyone else question Christmas.
22 Uncle Rick Seems Unimpressed
We all have that one uncle that gets volun-told to dress up and play the part of Santa every year for the holidays. Some of them do it with a smile and are happy to make their nieces and nephews see the joys of Christmas, proving that uncles everywhere are cooler than dad.
But then some uncles are entirely unimpressed with the gig and it shows when little Amy and Carl are on his lap asking for everything under the moon. Clearly, this was the case for this disgruntled Santa posing under his jolly decorations.
21 Unappreciated Gift Giving
We all know our children tend to carry all kinds of knick-knacks and souvenirs with them, which they have collected throughout the day, stuffing things into their pockets. When we go through their clothes or even their hair, we find all kinds of things that have no business in there including bugs, coins, toys and even trash they have yet to discard.
It’s clear that’s the case here with the toddler handing Santa one of his many gifts, which St. Nick has no interest in, but has to play the part of happy gift receiver.
20 Little Sister is Not Amused
Little sisters are often tormented by their big brothers for what seems like an eternity, growing up. Sometimes big brothers don’t have to do anything to bring them to tears other than to smile and be happy on Santa Claus’ lap when she clearly isn’t having any of it. In fact, he seems to be basking in pleasure at his little sister not being amused by Santa’s presence.
19 The Baddest Santa of Them All
No list of bad mall Santas is complete without the worst mall Santa of all time. No one can possibly top none other than Willie, a mall Santa that is by far the epitome of everything Santa shouldn’t be, played by Billy Bob Thornton in the hilarious hit comedy film, Bad Santa.
As long as no real-life mall Santas emulate any of Willie’s acts from the movie, malls across America can rest easy knowing children will be just fine taking photos with their version of St. Nick.
18 Grumpy Claus
Parents all over the country get their kids dressed up in their best clothes and make sure their hair is combed, eager to get the best possible photo with Santa Claus. After all, they are shelling out some decent coin for these high-priced mall Santa pictures. Imagine going through all the trouble only to have your sons sit next to this grumpy Claus who clearly looks like he wants nothing to do with his Santa gig.
Either that or he had a long night and was not ready to wake up. The silver lining here is the kids look completely unfazed by his mad Claus face.
17 Intimidating Claus
Most children are eager to jump onto the lap of Santa, ready to spill all their wants and desires out after that oh-so-wonderful question, “What would you like for Christmas this year?” Nine times out of ten, this goes smoothly, but that rate probably drops like a rock when it’s this Santa asking the question.
To put it simply, he looks like a very creepy Santa with his direct gaze into the camera and piercing eyes. Someone should definitely tell him to ease up on the stare which would do wonders for softening up his entire demeanor. Luckily for him, these two girls seem to be as happy as can be after asking for their presents.
16 Lost Santa
This could just be a matter of snapping a photo at the absolute worst time in a classic case of bad timing. Or it could be that this jolly St. Nick is lost and confused with his wide-eyed stare off into the distance. He surely means no harm, but this certainly doesn’t make for the greatest holiday pictures.
This one probably isn’t going to make the cut onto the fridge with the other magnet photos. At least the baby looks as cute as ever, but somehow, just as lost as Santa!
15 Big Brother Sees It Too
It’s hard to really determine what is going on in this photo because so much is happening, but from the looks of it, not much of it is going well. For starters, Santa Claus simply looks out of place with his makeshift costume that just doesn’t meet St. Nick standards, not to mention his very off-putting smile in the background.
Factor in the very odd-looking tree with ornaments that don’t seem to make a lot of sense and you have a recipe for a big question mark after taking this photo. No worries, big brother sees it all too, wondering why mom has taken him and little sister to visit this Santa.
14 Sleeping on the Job
As adults, we’ve all been there when it comes to work. We have been putting in countless hours and just aren’t getting enough sleep to keep up with it all. Santa can relate more than anyone during the holidays as his schedule gets as hectic as ever.
Countless Santas across the world wear themselves out, taking gig after gig, struggling to stay awake in between shifts. If you are on the market for a St. Nick gig at the mall, don’t be this guy and get caught napping!
13 The Kids Turn the Tables on Santa
In a twist of fate, this isn’t a case of Santa making us question Christmas, but children making him question the holidays. It’s clear Santa is trying to make the best of his job, asking if they’ve been well-behaved children throughout the year.
A photo can speak volumes and it’s pretty evident these kids are on the naughty list with little brother sprawled across the floor and big sister not happy with what she’s getting for Christmas.
12 Santa, Where Did You Go?
Everyone knows the two biggest rules of taking great pictures is getting a good face shot and no red eye. Santa clearly didn’t get the memo and is breaking all the rules in this photo session. The parents surely weren’t happy paying for this picture as Santa has disappeared behind his beard and red hat, with his face buried for no one else to see. The little guy on his lap, clearly confused, is even wondering where he went.
11 Awkward Christmas Photos
The child’s face pretty much says it all for us. He is just as uncomfortable as anyone looking at this Santa photo in what is the ultimate awkward holiday picture. There’s no telling why the kid isn’t excited to see St. Nick, but it probably has to do with the fact that he doesn’t actually look like the Santa he grew up reading about and seeing on TV.
The least Santa could have done was switch glasses to something more St. Nick-like or fluff up his beard some.
10 Not Staying in Character
The one cardinal rule of playing Santa Claus at the mall for thousands of kids to enjoy is to always stay in character. It’s a given that any person under that comfy red and white suit should never break character because the happiness of hundreds of kids around is at stake. The last thing a parent needs when taking their kids to sit on Santa’s lap is for him to reveal he isn’t the real deal.
Doing so is a one-way ticket to ending up on the naughty list himself, so it’s best to always keep that secret to himself.
9 Intense Santa
Not necessarily sure if this is a good thing or not, but people tend to not associate intense emotions with easy-going, soft-natured Santa Claus. Clearly, this version of the character is on a different wavelength with his fiery eyes and impassioned hand gestures.
Luckily for all involved, he is posing with an adult for this photo opportunity. Otherwise, parents would have their kids running for the exits with this version of Mr. Claus.
8 Whose Idea Was This?
We get it. Everyone is always looking to top one another when it comes to the pictures you can post of your cute baby on social media. Getting creative and taking the most original photo of him with Santa Claus during the holidays is going to garner hundreds of likes and retweets. But sometimes you have to ask yourself if the idea made any sense?
In this very odd picture, Santa seems to be hiding from this cute baby as he shushes others behind him. It all makes for a very unusual picture, which begs the question – whose idea was this?
7 Maybe Without Santa Next Time?
Usually, holiday family photos are best with a big smiling Santa who tends to always bring a merry demeanor to any picture. But in this case, maybe this family would have been better off without the big red guy in the back.
In fact, if you crop out this very awkward and weird version of Santa Claus from behind, you actually end up with a pretty great family photo with a smiling daughter, dad, and grandma!
6 Santa Wouldn't Even Pose For A Photo And That's Not Very Nice
In an actual case of Santa being a real-life Grinch during the Christmas season, a little girl who required a service dog to assist her with her disability was denied a photo with St. Nick at a mall in Orange County, California. The mall Santa simply had no interest in being near her service dog Pitbull named Pup-cake. After her parents offered to remove Pup-cake from the area, Santa still refused the photo, leaving her with a pretty sad trip to the mall and a changed impression of the jolly character.
5 Babies Can Be the Trickiest Customers
No one will argue that being a mall Santa is an easy job. It goes without saying that trying to make three hundred children smile and laugh with joy every day for a month is no easy task, not by any stretch of the imagination. So they certainly deserve praise for their efforts. But the times when they really deserve a tip, a high five, and a genuine thank-you is when they master the art of making a baby smile.
Infants and toddlers have proven to be the trickiest customers considering they have no ability to communicate with Santa and are often triggered by the slightest change without notice. Any smiling baby after time with Santa is a win!
4 80’s Santa Was… Different
We know that everything changes with time, going through different phases with each passing decade. But the one character in pop culture that should remain constant is Santa!
His face, beard, suit and size have pretty much become iconic and it’s blasphemous to try to change him. Well, seems fair to say that this ’80s Santa definitely didn’t follow the rules, considering the slender face and just overall wrong look and feel, missing the mark entirely!
3 Southern Style Santa
In what is the weirdest take on Santa yet, this version makes us wonder what happened when it came to putting this entire look together. To begin with, the setting in the background is all wrong considering they’re outside near a stage on a stepping ladder… near the woods.
If the parents of this child can get past that, then they most certainly had a harder time accepting Santa himself who is rocking a camouflage coat instead of the standard red suit. He does deserve credit for the real beard, which was spot on.
2 Is That… Clown Santa?
In what is one of the more odd, yet creepy renditions of Santa Claus, this guy managed to really spook us all out while also making us want to chuckle just a bit. The outfit actually works great, but it’s the makeup that throws off the entire look. In fact, when is makeup ever really needed when playing the part of Santa?
This guy thought it was necessary and after it was all applied, he ended up looking like the clown version of Santa in a circus.
1 Santa’s Pets Get No Presents This Year
This Santa gets called out for not being joyful, considering that’s essentially his only job. All he has to do is smile and laugh while others take pictures with him. But he definitely loses even more points for not smiling around dogs! Who finds it difficult to not be happy around dogs? In fact, most people have to force themselves to keep from smiling from ear to ear around man’s best friend. This Santa definitely has his work cut out for him, considering there’s so much to smile about all around him!