The job of mall Santa isn't just an easy side hustle for Santa-doppelgangers to pick up some extra cash for the holidays.

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According to a new survey conducted by UK-based Virgin Media, filling the shoes of Father Christmas can be quite brutal - mentally and physically, it seems. We've all been there, right? Even if you don't have children of your own, surely you remember those children from when you were a kid who would always scream and cry for mom every time they were taken to get a picture with Santa.

I remember a few trips to see Saint Nick with my mom when I was little during which I asked her what exactly was it about Santa that scared these kids half to death? Think about it from baby-Jahna's perspective: it's a man that's like my grandpop who is giving me presents, LOVES cookies (SAME), and gives me a candy cane after we smile for the camera. In my little mind, all I could think was what's there NOT to love?

Still, some kids just can't handle the big man with the red suit. So, the Santa stand-ins have to be prepared for anything. The most basic assault being the beard-pull, of course. According to the Virgin Media survey, at least 38% of children take a tug at his whiskers upon first meeting him. A kid pulling on the beard may not be Santa's worst nightmare especially if it means he doesn't have to endure the terrible screeches of horror in his ear. If a kid tugs on his beard, wouldn't you think the kid isn't so much afraid as he or she is curious? I'm sure given the option, Santa would choose a small beard-pull over an ear-shattering scream every time.

As a result of the aforementioned issues Santa's got to be prepared to encounter, parents of course have had to apologize profusely if their child actually does one of the two. The survey shows that 35% of parents have to apologize for their children's actions every year. Good news for parents this year, though. Since the pandemic will likely prevent many locations from hosting pictures with Santa this year, perhaps parents have dodged a bullet from the potential mayhem that might have been if holiday traditions weren't interrupted.

 

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