DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – One of the hardest working men this time of year is none other than Santa Claus. But one North Texas mall Santa is not just any old Saint Nick. He’s been doing it for decades, and you may even have sat on his lap as a child.
He brings smiles. He brings tears. But the NorthPark Center Santa, also known as Carl Anderson, can handle it.
He’s been doing it for years. “Actually, it’s almost 30. This is my 29th year,” he said.
Anderson has been a mainstay at NorthPark Center for 23 of those years. Because, yes, they really do believe it’s him. “I think it is,” seven-year-old Macy Bogatay said.
Why? “Mostly his beard. It’s real,” 12-year-old Cameron Walker said with assurance.
What makes this Santa special is that he’s got a PhD. “I have my doctorate in counseling psychology from the Univeristy of Texas at Austin,” he said.
Crying babies? This Santa understands. “They have stranger anxiety and separation anxiety at that age. So I’d say 70 to 80 percent of the children at one or so are going to cry.”
“Every once in a while we have parents that want that crying screaming baby picture and we just make it quick,” he said, snapping his fingers.
Just how many kids has Santa seen? “A conservative estimate is 8,000 to 10,000 a season. And, that comes out for me at almost 30 years to be at least 250,000 children.”
You could say he was born for the job. “I’ve always been a very good gift giver and a natural one at that and pretty intuitive.”
Anything he doesn’t know, he takes a list and checks it twice.
NorthPark Center’s Santa has his own blog at santasays.org in which he keeps people up to date on the latest goings on leading up to Christmas.
Santa will be at NortPark Center until December 24. His helpers recommend people get there early to take a number. The lines to see him are sometimes long.