Mall Santa Admits That He Doesn’t Exist
Judging by the way Randy Mattison, the man in the red suit at the Chrislip Mall, looks past the children and stares at their mothers’ breasts, the good news is that this year’s Santa probably isn’t a pedophile. The bad news is that, unless parents shop at Mattison’s Toys, Randy is spilling the beans to your kids. If his family’s toy store is going down this season, your child’s Christmas is going with it.
After unsuccessfully trying to coerce parents into changing their Christmas shopping plans, Santa lowers his fake white beard and says, “You know, kid, none of this is real. Your parents are lying about everything, Santa, Rudolph, everything.”
As nervous parents remove their child from the strange man’s lap and attempt to flee the store, he shouts, “It’s all a bribe to get you to act nice all year long. It’s a conspiracy, man. I don’t care, be naughty all you like. I ain’t got no list.”
In decades past, Christmas here would be unthinkable without Mattison’s Toys. Generations of parents took their children to the local toy store. Old Ebenezer Mattison would dress up as Santa and lead children around the store, noting each child’s preferences. Credit cards would be charged, gifts wrapped, and the van, decked out to look like a sleigh, loaded with presents to be delivered on Christmas Eve.
Before the holiday’s story became so fixed throughout the nation, Chrislip children viewed Santa as the guy who worked at the toy store. There was no North Pole toy factory in our narrative. Elves, if there were any, were kept in the back, out of view. That didn’t explain how children in other towns received their bounty, but these practical concerns seemed unimportant to a child ripping through the wrapping paper on Christmas morning.
The big box retail stores in nearby towns killed our charming local story. Ebenezer Mattison, Chrislip’s Santa, passed on shortly afterward. His grandson Randy, who partied his way out of Chrislip College, replaced him at the store and in the red suit, but things were never the same. Randy was a bad, Billy Bob Thornton-type of Santa.
When children began associating his alcoholic breath with Christmas, mothers found that they could just order out presents just like pizza or Chinese takeout. Fewer and fewer parents frequented Mattison’s Toys. At least the internet didn’t chase you out of the mall wearing his grandfather’s Santa suit.
Invariably, Randy would collapse and pass out in the mall parking lot. Sheriff Kennedy would be called after local teens defaced Santa with a magic marker. Our new Christmas tradition ends with a sleeping Santa in the drunk tank at the county jail. With “cock” written on his forehead, he dreams of all the presents that he’ll sell next year.