A viral video circulating online this week shows one young boy reduced to tears after he asked a mall Santa in Norridge, Illinois, for a Nerf gun and the Santa decided that gift was inappropriate, telling the young boy, “Nope. No guns. Not even a Nerf gun.” The Santa followed up the rejection by telling the boy that the boy’s father could get the Nerf gun for him for Christmas, potentially undermining beliefs the boy had of gifts coming from Santa.
The video of the incident shows the Santa asking the boy, “What do you want for Christmas?
When the boy hesitates, the Santa presses, “You don’t know?”
The boy apparently asked for a Nerf (Non-Expanding Recreational Foam) gun, according to his mother.
The Santa then pronounces, “Nope. No guns.”
The mother intercedes. “Nerf gun,” she explains.
The Santa, determined, continues, “Not even a Nerf gun.”
The young boy swivels in his chair to see his mother, questioning her with his eyes.
The Santa repeats, “Nope. If your dad wants to get it for you that’s fine but I can’t bring it to you, so what else would you like? Lots of other toys, there’s Legos, here’s bicycles, there’s cars and trucks.” The Santa prompts, “What do you think?” Then again, as the boy nervously twists the facemask in his hand, “What do you think?”
The boy starts to cry as his mom, holding his younger sibling, crosses to comfort him, saying, “It’s okay.”
As the young boy squeezes his hands into fists to rub away the tears, the Santa instructs, “Don’t cry.” The mother wraps her son in her arms as the Santa continues, “It’s okay.”
The mom simply says softly to her son, “You still get it.” As he continues to cry, she says, “It’s okay. It’s okay.”
The boy’s mother wrote on Facebook:
My poor baby. This was the first year Michael was excited to go see Santa. It was supposed to be magical but instead I had to watch my sweet little boy fight back tears because Santa told him No because of his own personal beliefs. I had to think fast and explain to him that this Santa was just a helper and not the real guy. I just wanted to console my baby and get him out of there, flipping out on Santa would have only made it worse. His Elfie is going to bring him a Nerf gun directly from the North Pole, from the real Santa, tonight.
The post was edited later to add:
Harlem Irving Plaza has responded quickly and with kindness and understanding. They have a special surprise for Michael that we will share later. Also, many people have offered to send Michael a nerf gun. His wish list has more than been fulfilled so if you’re still feeling generous please contact his mother, Sabella DeCarlo, as they are organizing a large nerf and toy donation to children in need! We’re trying to turn this unfortunate incident into something positive and spread cheer to children who really need it!
The HIP is not where you want to take your children to see Santa, if they are asking for Nerf guns.