Santa Claus makes special memories with children at Bucks County mall

LANGHORNE, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "He just really made it a special special moment for her," said Julia Hansen.

Hansen is talking about the real-deal Santa Claus at the Oxford Valley Mall. The jolly old fellow made a lasting impression when meeting her 3-year-old daughter, Ellie.

"He spotted her a couple stores back and was just so full of spirit, and he was so animated," said Hansen. "And he just started dancing, pointed to her to come on over."
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Hansen had not intended on having her daughter pose with Santa for a professional photograph that day. But it was the magical man's outgoing nature that prompted a viral photo opportunity. She captured the moment when Santa embraced Ellie with a big hug that elevated her feet off the ground.

"We posted it online just to give him some recognition," said Hansen. "A lot of other moms shared that they had the same experience and how kind he was to their children."

Soon enough, the photo of Ellie and Santa had more than 1,000 likes on the private Facebook group, "Positive Parents of Bucks County."

Moms began to toss their anecdotes in the comment section like trinkets in a stocking. One captured a photo of Santa reading a book to several inquisitive children. Others noted how he happily waves to kids who are in line, walking by, or looking out from the second floor. Santa was also seen learning sign language today to communicate with a boy who has special needs.

"It was just truly a magical experience," said Kimberly Stegena. "You know, it's not just like, 'Here's your picture, goodbye.' Santa really cared and took the time."

Stegena made a comment on Hansen's photo. Despite not knowing each other, the two moms had a chance to meet in-person today because of their shared experience.

"We should do lunch sometime," Stegena said to Hansen as they chatted about their common interests as moms of young children.

Both moms strolled through Macy's to meet Santa Claus one more time. Of course, Father Christmas remembered them.

"It's so nice to see you again," Santa said to Ellie.

Santa Claus will be posing for pictures at the Oxford Valley Mall from now until December 24, 2021. Reservations are recommended but walk-ins are accepted. To see available times, or to discover a Santa Claus experience in another Simon property, visit their website.

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