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Video: Meet Santa Dave, A Real-Bearded Mall Santa
Dave Morrison has been a mall Santa for the last decade, living in a motel two hours from home to bring joy to a Los Angeles mall. Morrison, 61, otherwise known as "Santa Dave," is the subject of a short film from documentary company Cannibal. Morrison has a real fuzzy white beard and is spending his holiday season working as a Santa in an L.A. mall. Since he lives two hours away from the mall, he is living in a nearby motel for the time being.
He was in the Navy for 12 years, working on a submarine. Morrison later worked as a truck driver and had his first role as St. Nick when friends of his asked him to portray the Christmas icon at a toy drive, according to Huffington Post. Estranged from two of his own children, Morrison fell in love with being Santa and has been doing it for the last decade.
He explains that he'd like to reconnect with his children, now adults, but that their mother has kept them apart and now they don't want to see him. Morrison says he knows they live somewhere in California, but he won't push it.
"I'm not the best papa, but I'm a good Santa," he admits.
And in case you were wondering, being a "real-bearded Santa" does mean something: you can be a member of the Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas (FORBS), founded in Orange County. And FORBS is only one of many Santa groups.