For most of the year Carl Anderson, unlike most of his peers in the Santa Claus trade, takes his role very seriously. Anderson, who entertains kiddies at NorthPark Center in Dallas from Thanksgiving to Christmas, maintains his beard year-round. The jolly psychologist from Austin even wrote his dissertation on what happens when children decide not to believe in old St. Nick. Here are his observations on being the Big Guy.
“Santa is the true sense of unconditional love. He loves kids and loves being with kids—he’s an eternally good parent. He represents that aspect in all of us for generosity. … Not all homes in Texas have chimneys, because it’s not cold like at the North Pole. For those that don’t, I tell the children to leave holly at the entrance they want me to use. For those that do, I tell them to put out the fire. … Kids talk about what they’re going to leave me on Christmas Eve. One boy said, ‘I’ve been thinking about it, and I’m going to leave you a little trash can.’ Then a girl told me to take off my shoes, because I made a mess last time.”