Save the Apache Mall Santa?
There's been quite a bit of fuss the past few days over the Apache Mall Santa.
Apparently, our mall Santa was asked to work 12-hour days for the ten days before Christmas. Santa is not as spry as he used to be and he asked to have that trimmed to 10 hours a day. His employers responded by cutting him down to around eight hours a day and hiring another Santa to cover the rest of the hours.
First, let's be clear about one thing. The Apache Mall Santa is great – one of the best, actually! He always looks and acts the part and has been entwined into the fabric of Christmas in Rochester for as long as I can remember. However, all this mall Santa angst seems a bit too much and maybe even a little misguided.
There’s a Facebook page that got set up last week called, “Save Santa at Apache Mall.” But does our mall Santa really need saving? He’s still going to be at the mall eight hours a day, right? And he was the one who went to the company and asked for fewer hours in the first place.
The Facebook page had already garnered 6,500+ likes as of Tuesday morning. Along with people sharing remembrances of times their children spent with the Apache Mall Santa, there are also comments that seem to maybe go a little bit overboard.
One post suggests contacting the newspaper to do a story on the situation. Another gives contact info for the photography company who works with the Apache Mall Santa, and encourages people to contact them to say that we only want this particular Santa and only for the hours he is able to work.
So, in essence, someone wants us to ask the company to cut the hours they have Santa available, which will result in lost revenue for the company and keep another person from being hired during the holidays.
Here's another idea. If you want your children to see our specific, favorite Santa, how about just visiting the mall during the hours he’s working? Then let’s give the other Santa a chance to make some extra holiday cash.
In the meantime, we could focus our energy on a Facebook page that helps homeless families find shelter over the holidays. Or gives winter coats to kids in need. Or that works to improve the lives of people in other ways during the holidays and throughout the year. Isn't that what the real Santa would want us to do?