(PCM) America’s largest mall, the Mall Of America near Minneapolis, Minnesota is making history by hiring their first black Santa Claus as part of their Santa Experience. The mall announced the news that they have hired Larry Jefferson to take on the role of Santa Claus for select appearances this month. Co-owner of the malls Santa Experience, Landon Luther, says, “This is a long time coming. We want Santa to be for everyone, period.”
The mall feels that having a black Santa gives children who aren’t white to see a Santa Claus character that looks like them. The Santa Experience launched a nationwide search for a diverse Santa Claus. They discovered Jefferson at a Santa convention in Branson, Missouri, over the summer. He was the only black Santa among the 1,000 impersonators in attendance. Jefferson is originally from Irving, Texas and is a veteran Santa impersonator in his home state.
He was more than happy to sign on for a four-day stint at the Mall Of America’s Santa Experience. He will be taking pictures and handing out candy canes to the children. Jefferson had some absolutely heartwarming sentiments to share about acting as the mall’s first black Santa. He said “I’m just a messenger to bring hope, love and peace to girls and boys. Anybody can be Santa; it’s what’s in your heart.” Awww … so many feels this holiday season! This may not seem like such a huge ordeal, but it is definitely a long overdue step in the right direction in the midst of our current political climate.
In case you happen to wonder what Santa’s wish would be this holiday season according to the Star Tribune, he said he would love to be invited to the White House by President Obama and would also like to visit President-elect Donald Trump, too!