Confessions of a Mall Santa

You see them at malls great and small; gents dressed as the merry elf from the North Pole. There they sit in their jolly red finery attentively noting every Christmas wish while smiling for photos. But what's it like from behind the beard? It should surprise no one that Santa is big business, and as in any segment of commerce, a continuum exists. At the strictly amateur end, wannabe Santas locally rent well-worn suits with dingy cotton beards. These non-professional Santas work for reindeer feed.