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A Santa’s helper delivering toys in Washington has been shot in the back with a pellet gun.
As a TV crew filmed him in the street, he said “Merry…” before staggering in pain as the pellet hit.
The man, who has not been named and is recovering in hospital, initially said he wanted to carry on with the giveaway but paramedics stepped in and took him away in an ambulance.
A Grinch character then saved Christmas by stepping in to deliver the gifts.
On the video posted on the website of WJLA-TV, the man waves as he walks down the street.
He says: “This is awesome, Merry…” but then recoils in pain.
Santa’s helper has been shot in the back with a pellet gun while delivering toys in Washington
“Someone’s shooting. Someone just shot me.”
He recovers to say: “I’m glad I got hit and nobody else go hurt”, before being taken to hospital.
A man dressed as the green-clothed Dr. Seuss character then took over.
ABC reported that the man would be out of hospital on Christmas Eve after the pellet was removed.
Its reporter quoted witnesses as saying two shots were fired from a second-floor window of a home, but no-one has yet been arrested. Police are investigating the incident.
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Delivery experts have attempted to calculate how Santa would make his impressive delivery to around 760 million children on Christmas night if he didn’t have magic on his side.
Experts from FedEx and UPS shared their calculations with National Public Radio’s Planet Money, estimating the resources they’d need to compete with Santa’s nine reindeer and unknown number of elves.
And it doesn’t come cheap. The delivery firm bosses estimate Santa would need a 12 million-strong operation with workers specializing in areas from sleigh-loading to border control and meteorology and that’s after the presents are wrapped.
Paul Tronsor from FedEx said: “It is really about international business because after all that’s what Santa is really doing here – a massive international operation…Santa is the head of this huge organization, so we expect Santa would need around 12million people. Santa Inc is massive, I don’t know of any company that has the number of employees that Santa does.”
Both companies admit Santa’s workforce probably doesn’t need to meet these exact figures – given he has the unknown advantage of festive magic on his side – but if he didn’t there’s no doubt he would be Chief Executive of the biggest organization on earth.
They predict he would need 46 international facilities each 5.2million square feet with 155 miles of conveyer belt and 9,000 employees working in present-loading alone.
Delivery experts have attempted to calculate how Santa would make his impressive delivery to around 760 million children on Christmas night if he didn’t have magic on his side
They estimate a further 7,000 employees would be needed to tweak his route mid-air, with an extra 100 meteorologists to insure he avoids poor weather and 40,000 to make sure he has the right permits to cross the world’s borders and to deal with customs staff.
Mike Mangeot of UPS says the support staff under Santa’s leadership would span all sorts of professions.
“Whether it would be human resources, finance and accounting, network planning or regulatory compliance…You can’t just fly into a country, you have to get permissions to do that.”
And it’s the sleigh that’s makes the parcel-delivery bosses really envious.
“Santa’s sled has to be absolutely ginormous,” Mike Mangeot adds.
“If you assume conservatively that each of these 760 million children get one present which weighs one pound – that’s 760 million pounds, which would take 295 747 aircraft to haul. Interestingly that is about 50 more 747s than exist in the entire world so these reindeer are doing something impressive on Christmas night.”
What a FedEx Santa would need
- 12 million members of staff including 100 border experts, 100 meteorologists and 7,000 route planners
- 46 International packing facilities where he could re-load his sleigh through the night
- Each facility would be 5.2million square feet with 155 miles of conveyer belt and 9,000 packing staff
- His sleigh would need to carry a weight of at least 760 million pounds which would take 295 747 airplanes to carry
- 40,000 customs experts to help Santa navigate across the world’s borders
Cops from University Park Mall in Mishawaka, Indiana, banned a five-year-old boy from visiting Santa’s grotto because his grandparents had broken rules by taking a picture of him.
Don Oberloh and his wife Debbie Cassella were kicked out of the mall along with their grandson and his mother, for taking pictures at a café.
Debbie Cassella claims they had taken the boy, who was over from California, to visit Santa and had been enjoying a drink at a cafe when security staff pounced.
The grandmother told WNDU.com: “We were just sitting around the table having something to drink, talking about what we were planning and that’s when my husband took the picture.”
Cops from University Park Mall in Mishawaka, Indiana, banned a five-year-old boy from visiting Santa's grotto because his grandparents had broken rules by taking a picture of him
According to the grandparents, security staff rushed over after they noticed Don Oberloh with his camera.
Don Oberloh recalled: “I believe she said you can’t take pictures at the mall.
“I thought she was joking and I said <<I’m taking a picture of my grandson>>, I’d understand if I was taking pictures of the architecture or the products in the stores and she became a little hostile.”
“I asked to speak with a mall manager and she flashed a badge at me, and I didn’t see it, and asked <<is this good enough?>> and I tried explaining things to her and she came back.”
Don Oberloh said he apologized but the woman became belligerent at which point he asked to speak to the manager.
Eventually he left the building after being asked by security to leave, but Debbie Cassella stayed to wait for her daughter, who had gone into a store.
Debbie Cassella added: “I told him I can’t just leave and then he said that he would remove me physically and then he called another security guard and that guy came over and then my daughter showed up and I said we were just here to take my grandson to see Santa and he said you can’t see Santa.”
Debbie Cassella said the incident was embarrassing and has vowed never to return to the mall.
A spokesperson for the University Park Mall said managers are investigating the incident.
She said it was not mall policy to immediately remove shoppers for taking a picture, but that shoppers who do not comply with requests to stop taking photos or were aggressive with staff, would be ejected.
Santa Claus was spotted five days before Christmas at the scene of an accident in Dallas County, Texas, when two cars collided and one of them set on fire.
Santa quickly sprang into action and pulled one of the drivers from his burning truck before directing the traffic around the crash site.
Eye witness Margie Culberson, who took a photo of the Good Samaritan Santa, said: “It must have just happened. It was a fireball and a lot of black smoke.”
Coppell Police said they have no record of any Santa Claus being at the scene of the crash.
But WFAA-TV managed to locate him.
Santa Claus was spotted five days before Christmas at the scene of an accident in Dallas County, Texas, when two cars collided and one of them set on fire
Turns out Santa Claus is former volunteer fire fighter Brad Luddeke, from Arlington, who was coming home from delivering toys to families in need in full Santa gear as he does every year.
Brad Luddeke told the news channel: “As soon as I grabbed (the driver’s) jacket and pulled him away, I said, <<Your car’s on fire>>.
“We turned to leave, and I guess the battery exploded. And that’s when everything went up.”
Brad Luddeke won’t admit that he probably saved someone’s life but said he was just glad to help as he lost his son, 17, in a traffic accident seven years ago.
The brave man assured all the good little boys and girls that Santa won’t be late this year after his moment of heroism.
Downtown Portland Macy’s store has decided to forego years of tradition, booting out truly old Saint Nicks who have been posing as Kris Kringle for decades in favor of agency Santas.
The new Father Christmases come from a national vendor instead of the much beloved community Santas, and families who have been coming to get their holiday photos with the same Santas are livid.
The worst part – the agency Santas have costume beards.
Joe Hawes, 54, owns The Portland Santa Company, which outfitted Meier and Frank and Macy’s with authentic, beard-sporting Santas. He says the style the new East coast company does is a “caricature of Santa”.
“We’ve always had naturally bearded Santas who play the role of Santa for year after year. The experience is dramatically different.
“The children come in and identify with an individual rather than a costumed character.”
The two current Santas – Santa Tom and Santa Phil – have been working for the company for seven and twelve years, respectively, and have taken great pride in maintaining their festive personas all year round.
The men groom their white beards, are jolly throughout the year, and pretend to be “on vacation” when they run into youngsters during the summer months.
Families have been bringing their children to Santaland at Macy’s for years and have looked forward to seeing the same jolly and plump face during each Christmas
“I’ve been doing this my whole adult life, so it’s a real personal loss to me not to be involved with Santaland this year,” Joe Hawes told Today.com.
“This year they notified us that, for the sake of corporate uniformity, they’re going to have the Santas look like they do on the East coast – costume-bearded Santas, so every Santa can look the same in every Macy’s store.”
Families have been bringing their children to Santaland at Macy’s for years and have looked forward to seeing the same jolly and plump face during each Christmas.
“We’ve been visiting Santa every year for 18 years,” Portland resident Peggy Friedl-Yee wrote on Santaland’s Facebook page.
“first at Meier & Frank and then at Macy’s. Macy’s this is unbelievable! You have ruined a favourite family tradition. We’ll be seeing Santa at Pioneer Square. Shame on you.”
Nikki DeShane also took to Facebook to complain about the new, fake-bearded St Nicks.
“We have been taking our kids to see this Santa for 14 years, our oldest is 18 and youngest two. We will continue to see our “real” Santa on the bricks.”
Veteran Santas are setting up shop at a rival Santa display a block away from the Macy’s Santaland. The event will start December 14 in nearby Pioneer Square.
Macy’s told Today.com that the new Santaland “has a new look while retaining its holiday traditions”. They also said Santa is attired in “a classic St Nick suit”, but declined to comment on the lack of real facial hair.
Joe Hawes told Today.com that getting a portrait taken with Santa is “such a personal thing”.
Joe Hawes added: “It’s not just a public display that’s inanimate. It’s personal and emotional, especially for young children, and for people who have built this into their annual family traditions, it’s very significant.”
Santa was embarrassed when his beard and hair got stuck in rope while repelling into Palm Beach Gardens Mall, Florida, while horrified children watch.
A man dressed as jolly old St Nicholas was supposed to make a grand entrance at Palm Beach Gardens Mall, Florida.
Instead, the man managed to get his beard tangled in the rope, losing the beard -and his hat – entirely.
It was trouble from the get-go when Santa hesitated and fumbled before clumsily going over the ledge.
An elf helper tried to get Santa off to a good start.
Santa was embarrassed when his beard and hair got stuck in rope while repelling into Palm Beach Gardens Mall, Florida, while horrified children watch
What followed was nearly three minutes of Santa – still suspended in mid-air – trying to descend down to the stage after his beard got tangled in the rappelling equipment.
Santa bounced around and at one point scissor-kicked to try and loosen the stubborn rope.
The elf looked on, helpless at Santa’s plight.
A lone child hopefully cried out: “Santa!”
Two announcers commenting on the event didn’t help the awkward entrance.
“Everybody cheer, everybody cheer Santa on!” the female announcer said to the crowd.
“I think if you guys sing nice and loud, you can help Santa come down!”
The announcer also told the horrified children: “Magic can happen!”
She also encouraged children to sing along with a rendition of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
The hilarious video has over 35,000 hits on YouTube.