Bah, Humbug! A mall Santa in Maine was fired Thursday after complaints from parents and children said he was more of a Scrooge than a St. Nick.
According to a report from local news station WGME, the Santa Claus in the Maine Mall in South Portland was reportedly rude, acting grumpy and wouldn't let a six-year-old girl sit on his lap.
Mall officials quickly responded to the complaints and are looking to replace the Santa post as soon as Thursday.
Guess the axed Santa didn't read Slate's 2007 article on how to become a mall Santa.
The mall Santa was fired after Jessica Mailhiot of Maine took her six-year-old daughter, Chantel, to get her photo taken with Santa. Mailhiot, who is out of work, said Santa wouldn't let he daughter near him when the mother said she couldn't afford the $20 photo surcharge.
"He just put his hand on his lap so I couldn't go on," she told WGME.
Further, her daughter reportedly asked Santa for an American Girl doll, to which the mall Santa said instead she would get an "American football."
"This was just really important to see that Santa was listening and maybe the one thing she wanted, she would get," Mailhiot said. "He didn't even ask if she was good or anything like that, he just snubbed her."
The mother of two posted her story to Facebook and garnered much support from others, including some who said they would refrain from visiting the Maine Mall and would not pay the steep $20 for a photo.
The Main Mall responded to the criticisms with a statement posted on Facebook, which read: "Thank you to those who have voiced concerns regarding our Santa photography policy. "Visiting Santa at The Maine Mall is free - photo purchases are NOT required and we have been reacting to customer complaints by taking some pretty serious steps already, the results of which you will see within the upcoming days. We realize time with Santa Claus is a holiday tradition many of our shoppers look forward to year after year - and so do we."