WJTV News Channel 12 - MYSTERY MONDAY: Santa's Background and Why Kids Cry

South of the food court at Northpark Mall sits jolly, friendly Santa Claus. But, to be honest, if you did not know the story is might all seem odd.

MYSTERY MONDAY: Santa's Background and Why Kids Cry

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About 35 people were waiting in line to have their children and young relatives sit on Santa's lap at Northpark Mall in Ridgeland on Monday. About 35 people were waiting in line to have their children and young relatives sit on Santa's lap at Northpark Mall in Ridgeland on Monday.
Waverly McCarthy with her 18-month-old niece Amber Grace Butler. The aunt says they used the "distraction" technique to avoid crying. Waverly McCarthy with her 18-month-old niece Amber Grace Butler. The aunt says they used the "distraction" technique to avoid crying.
The manager of Ridgeland's Northpark Mall says the longest lines he's seen for Santa had about 150 families in it. The manager of Ridgeland's Northpark Mall says the longest lines he's seen for Santa had about 150 families in it.
Three-year-old Reginald Carrington is asking for five trains this Christmas. His father took him to see Santa at Northpark Mall in Ridgeland on Monday. Three-year-old Reginald Carrington is asking for five trains this Christmas. His father took him to see Santa at Northpark Mall in Ridgeland on Monday.
Do you remember taking your younger relatives or perhaps your children on their first time to see Santa?

What happened? Tears, right?

Well maybe the tots just do not know the story of Santa Claus well enough. "The Big Man in Red" shimmies down the chimney for this week's Mystery Monday.

South of the food court at Northpark Mall sits jolly, friendly Santa Claus. But, to be honest, if you did not know the story is might all seem odd.

That long beard. That red and white hat.

Sometimes a first meeting requires strategy. Waverly McCarthy, aunt of Abby Grace Butler, said their Monday afternoon plan worked to calm down the 18-month-old.

"Distraction. We gave her the book - she loves to read - so we gave her the book and it worked out," McCarthy said.

"It was impressive because we went to another Aanta and she did not do well. She did not do well," McCarthy said.

"Sometimes they just get scared around people that they don't know," McCarthy said.

Thomas Carrington, another dad who's child just saw Santa, agreed.

"I think that it's the unknown. That it's a stranger," Carrington said.

So let's clear up some of those 'unknowns' and get to know this  Santa character a little bit better.

Did you know that before the North Pole, his headquarters were in Spain? That's according to Belgian and Dutch legend: Sinterklass comes from Spain. This version was also the first to list who was naughty and who was nice.

And what about his diet? Although he enjoys milk in cookies in the U.S. on Christmas Eve, in Britain and Australia children sometimes leave him sherry.

In Ireland it's Christmas pudding and Guinness Beer.

In America the name "Santa Claus" was first used in the press as early as 1773. That was in the Rivington's Gazette out of New York.

The name stuck.

"Every year since he was born we've taken him out to see Santa. This is the first year he hasn't been scared of Santa," Carrington said.

At three-years-old Carrington's son Reginald has figured out the tradition. Now it's just a matter of asking for toys, Carrington said.

"Five trains!" Reginald said.

NEWS CHANNEL 12 is searching for more stories to feature on MYSTERY MONDAY. Email mystery@wjtv.com or call Jacob Kittilstad at 601-664-8839.


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