Meeting Santa is supposed to be a holiday highlight for kids and their parents, but for Melanie Cyr and her daughter, it was the opposite.
Cyr was at the Fairview mall in Pointe-Claire with her four-year-old daughter Basma, and they happened to run into Santa on the second floor.
She said he was going around greeting children, but it is unclear whether or not he was on duty at the time.
“My daughter walks up to him to give him a hug. He puts his hand flat on her forehead and pushes her away! He keeps walking, not a word, not a smile, nothing,” she told Global News.
“My daughter turns to me and goes ‘Wow, Santa’s grumpy!’ Then she realized ‘Oh my god, is he mad at me? Am I getting gifts this year?'”
Cyr managed to diffuse her daughter’s disappointment by telling her Santa was just having an off day.
“I had to reassure her, saying he’s having an off day, we all have bad days. It’s not the real Santa, the real Santa is busy in the North Pole,” she said.
She couldn’t believe the attitude of the mall Santa.
“There are two things on your job description: love children and spread holiday joy. It’s basic stuff.”
She sounded off on Facebook and found out she wasn’t the only one with complaints about this particular Santa.
“I heard about Santa calling one child a little brat, telling him to take an appointment, refusing to smile in pictures, making one autistic child cry because he touched his beard. Not exactly the embodiment of holiday spirit!” Cyr told Global News.
In a statement to Global News, Fairview confirmed the bad Santa was fired just a few days after Cyr’s incident. They said the Santa “did not live up to the expectations of our shoppers and our team.” They said they appreciate the feedback and are committed to providing the best Santa experience possible.
Cyr says she will think twice about bringing her daughter to see Santa again. She says Basma is still asking about him.
“She still talks to me, saying ‘do you think Santa is better? Do you think he should go to therapy? Maybe anti-depressants would be the way to go?'”
As for the new Santa, shoppers had only good things to say.