clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Santa at Santa Monica Place Used to Go by Sandy Claus

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Mall Santas are iconic, a harbinger of the Christmas season and a kitschy mainstay of shopping centers across the country. This year, we sat down with a few LA-based Santas to ask them some tough questions. It's Time for Santa.

Elizabeth Daniels, 12/21/11

Racked: When did you begin Santa-ing?
Santa: I'd say back in the '80s, '83 or '84. We used to go to the desert dune buggying and out there I was known as Sandy Claus. S-A-N-D-Y, because there's so much sand out there. I started going from camp to camp whenever we would be out there [as Santa].

Racked: How long did it take you to grow your beard?
Santa: Well, I've never shaved it off [laughs]. I have four 22-year-old grandchildren who've never seen me without my beard.

Racked: How do you maintain it?
Santa: Of course, showering and then conditioners, things like that. And by giving it a trim.

Racked: What's your favorite snack (aside from milk and cookies)?
Santa: My wife's tacos. Either beef or chicken. She makes the best in town.

Racked: What's the oddest present request you've ever received?
Santa: You know, I can't remember one. I've gotten the one where someone asked for trillions of dollars. And every once and awhile, a young lady comes and asks for a Rolls Royce or a Mercedes Benz. Usually what I will do, if someone is with them, I'll tell them to go down and buy a matchbox Mercedes Benz or Rolls Royce and give it to her from Santa. And they enjoy that.

Racked: What's the most popular present(s) this year?
Santa: Oooh, gosh. This year, I don't know. I haven't seen any trends.

Racked: Where does Mrs. Claus like to shop?
Santa: Wherever there's something for sale [laughs]. She likes Bloomingdale's.

Racked: How do you prepare for a day of work?
Santa: I usually pray for guidance in handling the children. That I don't misread them because it's a serious time for them. I don't want to be shoving them away and not worrying about them.
· A Woman Asked Santa at Westfield Topanga For a Husband [Racked]
· Santa at the Glendale Galleria Motivates With Christmas Music [Racked]
· Santa at the Beverly Center Fields Requests for iPads [Racked]