Do you remember growing up and experiencing the whole “pageantry” of Christmas? You know – going shopping at one of those big department stores, like Gimbels – you know – the ones that anchor the nicer malls? In the center of those malls, there would be some sort of elaborate area where Santa Claus would be “taking time out of his busy day” to take pictures with kids (quite coincidentally, this area was also frequented by the Easter bunny in April – kind of like that one scene in “A Christmas Story.”
Well, apparently, Walmart has put a new twist on this “tradition.” Unfortunately, because I now have a significant amount of cash “locked up” in Walmart gift cards, I have to frequent their hideous stores – that’s besides the point. Whilst trying to find something useful at a local Walmart store on Saturday, I came across the Garden center, which also doubles as “Christmas and Holiday Headquarters” in the winter-time at Walmart. The Garden center is usually located way in the corner of most department stores, and with Walmart, this is no different.
However, I discovered that Walmart’s holiday headquarters also includes a park bench complete with Santa Claus, and a camera person, and elf waiting for families to “find” him … kids, he’s located right next to the manure and fertilizer. That’s right folks, Walmart has decided to add their own Santa Claus tradition by sticking their Santa “Display” right next to the lawn mowers and grass seed. Nowhere in the store does it even indicate that there “may” be a Santa Claus in the building waiting to have his picture taken with you. Who came up with this idea, anyway?
The even funnier part about this is that for the 15 minutes I was in this area (lots of Christmas lights to look at), not one child had his/her picture taken with St. Nick. Poor Santa was just sitting there staring into the deep, dark abyss that is Walmart. In fact, at one point, he was just slowly lifting his feet up and down off the floor, and seemingly counting the amount of times he could do this.
I felt bad for the guy. I mean, how does one get to the point of being Santa Claus at Walmart? Is there some sort of Santa Claus pecking order? If so, how does one climb up the Santa pole (wait, that didn’t sound right)? What are the skills that must be proven to become a mall Santa as opposed to a Walmart Santa? And what about the elves and photographers – are they just as scrutinized as the Santas? Did the Walmart Santa lose a bet? I gotta know! If anybody has any insight, please share!