The making of the perfect mall Santa

Community Reports

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s not easy being a mall Santa, there’s a lot of work behind the magic when it comes to finding the world’s jolliest elf.

Santa Specialists at Cherry Hill Programs hire Santa’s Helpers every year to meet and greet children all over the United States. They say they get thousands of applications each year, and it’s their job to comb through all of them in search of the perfect Santa. The company’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations Ruth Rosenquist says when hiring Santa’s Helpers they look for far more than just an authentic white beard.

“It’s all about the heart, we’re really looking for a gentleman with a kind heart who loves children, and most importantly loves the holidays.”

Ruth Rosenquist, Director of Marking and Public Relations at Cherry Hill Programs

Rosenquist also says Santa Claus is an archetype of our society, meant to teach children to be generous, and giving. She says Cherry Hill Programs feels a responsibility to pass along the tradition of an authentic Santa Claus, one who brings joy to families all across the United States.

After Santa’s arrival at Cottonwood Mall on Friday, the big man himself answered a few holiday questions proving why he’s perfect for the job. When asked why he loved the holiday season so much he said, “It’s always been close to my heart, the colors the sounds the smells and the love and joy spread around during the season, so it became one of my favorites. It’s just a magical time of year.”

After Santa exited his police escort on Friday and made his rounds on the grounds at the mall, he read from The Nutcracker as performers from The New Mexico Ballet Company acted out the story.

People at the event say it’s a special type of excitement and kindness that makes Santa Claus such a special character. Santa himself says he hopes this year, New Mexicans will step up and offer support for those who need it most during the holidays.

“A lot of people are mislead thinking that it’s all joy and happiness but there are some people that go through a difficult time during the holidays, so Santa would just like to let everybody know we can help pick their spirits up a little by sharing our hearts with others, being compassionate, and letting them know that we’re gonna help them get through the holiday season.”

Santa Claus at Cottonwood Mall

This year, Cottonwood Mall is offering a variety of events with Santa Claus for kids of all abilities and even pets. To learn more about Santa’s schedule, click here.

Santa’s full interview with KRQE

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