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Mall Fires Santa After Complaints Of Not Letting Child Sit On Lap

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File photo of a child sitting on Santa Claus' lap in a mall.  (credit:  Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

File photo of a child sitting on Santa Claus’ lap in a mall. (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (CBS Connecticut/AP) – A mall in Maine has sacked Santa Claus after children and parents complained he was rude, grumpy and wouldn’t even let one child sit on his lap.

Officials at the Maine Mall in South Portland say they’re looking for a jollier Santa and hope to have him in place Thursday.

Jessica Mailhiot and her 6-year-old daughter, Chantel, went to see Santa this week. They told WGME-TV that he was rude and wouldn’t let the girl sit on his lap when they said they didn’t want to buy a $20 photo.

“He just put his hand on his lap so I couldn’t go on,” Chantell told the station.

Chantel says when she asked Santa for an American Girl doll, he replied she’d get an “American football.”

“This was just really important to see that Santa was listening and maybe the one thing she wanted, she would get,” Jessica told the station.

When the mom posted her story online, others shared similar experiences.

The station contacted the Santa, but he didn’t want to comment.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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