An Illinois mall Santa resigned this week following an incident that left a little boy in tears.
The boy’s mother, Sabella DeCarlo, recorded the exchange and put it on social media. It didn’t take long for it to go viral.
What brought the boy, Michael, to tears is when Santa, who was working at the Harlem Irving Plaza (HIP) in Norridge, told the youngster that he would receive “no guns” for Christmas.
“Not even a Nerf gun,” Santa said in the video. “Nope. If your dad wants to get it for you that’s fine, but I can’t bring it to you. What else would you like? There’s lots of other toys — there’s Legos, bicycles, there’s cars and trucks. What do you think?”
“It’s OK!” said Santa, as Michael became upset. “Don’t cry.”
Ms. DeCarlo quickly interjected, telling Michael, “You’ll still get it.”
In a Facebook post on Sunday, DeCarlo wrote, “My poor baby. This was the first year Michael was excited to go see Santa. It was supposed to be magical but instead I had to watch my sweet little boy fight back tears because Santa told him No because of his own personal beliefs.”
Following backlash on social media, the Harlem Irving Plaza announced that that Santa had “turned in his resignation” because he was “heartbroken and crushed that he has made this child so sad and upset.”
Additionally, HIP made good on Michael’s wish.
“HIP immediately contacted the family and worked with our Santa company in hopes of rectifying the situation. We are happy to report that the “real” Santa visited the boy at his home today to bring him a nerf gun! We hope we restored Christmas magic to this boy and his family with Santa’s special visit,” HIP said on Facebook.
“The HIP is thankful for our valued customers,” they continued. “We invite you to please watch and share this new video in hopes of restoring Holiday magic to everyone!”