Mall of America's First Ever Diverse Santa Claus

For the first time ever, the nation’s largest mall has hired a Santa of color to help families celebrate the season.

Larry Jefferson is an African-American man and he gets to play Santa at the Mall of America this holiday season. He is the mall’s first ever black Santa and is already booked up through his stay at the mall. Judging from his photos posing with kids, he seems just as happy to be playing Kris Kringle as the kids are to see him.

mall of america santa
(Photo: Facebook / Leader Telegram)

The Santa Experience, where you can see Jefferson donning the red coat – his white beard is all his own – is co-owned by Landon Luther. This year, Luther said he “want[ed] Santa to be for everyone, period.” So, that meant the search was on to find a diverse Santa that could bring cheer and happiness to families.

Jefferson is actually from Dallas, Texas, but he happened to be at a Santa convention in Branson, Missouri, where Luther was looking. The rest is history.

Despite Christmas not arriving for a few weeks, Jefferson will be leaving the Mall of America and the cold state of Minnesota at the end of the week. But, he won’t be retiring his red suit just yet, he will be playing Santa in the Dallas area after he returns home.

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[H/T ABC News]