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Santa Comes to Ocean County Mall

Holiday cheer started last week

A special event Friday night with members of the Garden State Philharmonic launched the official start of the holidays at in Toms River.

Santa Claus is here. He's been sitting in a wonderland at center court near Macy's in the Ocean County Mall. The Simon Properties group began setting up the holiday display last week for the Friday evening event.

Check out our images of the display in our photo gallery.

skizma November 08, 2011 at 10:58 AM
I love Santa...but isn't it a bit early?
R. Mc November 08, 2011 at 03:42 PM
People use the pictures of Santa and their children as their Christmas cards. Having the pictures taken in November gives time for the cards to be produced and mailed by mid December.
. November 08, 2011 at 05:35 PM
We don't need Santa early in November for Christmas cards. These days cards are printed in no time at all. Remember the days when you never saw any sign of Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving. That's how it should still be. I hate seeing Christmas decoration in the stores in October and seeing commercials on TV already. Now stores are open on Thanksgiving, and people have to work when they should be spending time with their families. It is ridiculous to start this so early. Let's take one holiday at a time! Yes, Sean people should donate to the food bank and really do some good. My company always donates to the food bank every year and some of us also donate the gift cards that our company gives us to buy a turkey. That's what it should be about too.
Ken G November 08, 2011 at 07:10 PM
Can't believe im saying this and im only 17.....but when I was little Christmas started the day after Thanksgiving.....although i've no problem with Santa being there as it is Private Property. Who cares honestly? You dont go to the mall to see Santa you go there to shop! or if you're a teenager the opposite. But lets not start an argument on that.
MrSaturdayNightSpecial November 09, 2011 at 01:28 AM
Where are all the decorations for Hanukkah, Bodhi Day, Festivus, Yule, Kwanzaa, Inti Raymi, Samhain, Pancha Ganapati, and Holiday? I guess Simon is not interested in including everybody?
Alan K November 09, 2011 at 01:39 AM
as Glenn Beck says" Happy HanaRamaKwanzmas". It covers everybody!
Mattie November 09, 2011 at 01:31 PM
Pretty soon Santa is going to be hawking "back to school" supplies in August.... Wasn't a month long Holiday Season (Black Friday to Christmas Eve) long enough? When does it stop - this hyper-consumerism?
Laura November 09, 2011 at 02:48 PM
In all honesty, I think it's excessive to have holiday promotions being so heavily pushed now, too. It's certainly not for the spirit of the season. It's to fuel sales. Santa is wonderful, but waiting until after Thanksgiving seems the logical alternative. Why rush the season and exhaust it before it even gets here?
Eggs-n-Toast November 09, 2011 at 03:13 PM
Home Goods and several other stores in the area had Christmas stuff out before Halloween! It really is getting ridiculous. As others have said, it's got nothing to do with Christmas or the spiritual aspect of ANY holiday, it's about one thing and one thing only: $$$$.
Eggs-n-Toast November 09, 2011 at 03:39 PM
I always take that Free Turkey or Ham that they offer for shopping points at Shop-Rite or Foodtown every year and donate it to my local Catholic church, even though I'm not Christian, nor go to church. And I do not pass any Salvation Army collection pot at any time without dropping in at least a dollar, sometimes my last dollar. It's good Karma, and I enjoy doing it. But I agree, "Christmas" this early really is a bit much. Peace.
sue November 22, 2011 at 12:09 PM
Let's go bavck to tradition Santa arrives the day after Thanksgiving. Decorations go up then and we celebrate Thanksgiving with the parade turkey dinner and then the Christmas holiday. On that subject wish everyone would stop with happy holidays. It will be the Christmas season. What ever religion you are that's what you wish everyone. None of this bit you can't answer the phone at a store Merry Christmas which lasts for a month. No you have to answer it Happy Holidays because of the other religions , well when that holiday comes then wish everyone greeting for that holiday. People are so afraid now. See what happens when you wish them Merry Christmas. That's wqhat I do. Any way everyone have a nice happy Thanksgiving
Mattie November 22, 2011 at 02:09 PM
Well Sue, I know it's probably useless to try and enlighten you in any way, seeing as how you're arrogantly denying the feelings of anyone else but yourself (and fellow Christians), but I'm a sucker for lost causes, I guess... So let's review your side of it: 1. Christmas is the ONLY holiday that counts. 2. Christianity is the ONLY religion that matters. 3. People are "afraid" to say "Merry Christmas" 4. Saying "Happy Holidays!" is some sort of "insult" to you and yours 5. There's absolutely no need to consider Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, or even the New Year as one of the "holidays" others may wish -or be wished- happiness for (see #1) 6. Exclusion is the name of the game for you, not inclusion. Nice. How Christian of you. Now here's the real deal; Christmas is ONE day. Not a month. Shopping/Consumerism is a month-long ordeal, not Christmas day. Next; who in the world made YOUR holiday top holiday over all others? That may be true in your home and family, but there are other perspectives in the world around us. And why would you even entertain the idea of insulting others as a means of elevating your religion above all? Is that Christian-like thinking? (I'm sorry to say, I think I know the answer to that one). And lastly, It's very unbecoming to play victim where no victimization exists. Get over it and Don't Watch Bill O'Reilly anymore. There is no war on Christmas...
Shore Skeptic November 22, 2011 at 07:20 PM
Nope, no "war on Christmas" per se....just outright, blatant, hatred and bigotry from the secular, leftist, progressives: http://www.local10.com/news/nationalnews/War-on-Christmas-Atheists-launch-new-billboards/-/1717236/4766770/-/8hiwfl/-/index.html
Ken G November 22, 2011 at 07:43 PM
Alright, my honest, un-biased opinion. I am liberal, im progressive. BUT, saying "Happy Holidays" instead of Merry Christmas USED to bother me. There is no "war" in my opinion. The Atheist group does it EVERY year. It's their opinion, just like we all have our political opinion. Do I get offended by some of these things? Sure, but hey, I really dont care about their opinion. A "War On Christmas" would mean to say putting up lights is bad, or Retail Stores can't sell Christmas Trees. Just enjoy the holidays with your family, nobody is stopping you from doing that. Now if you do want to talk about "stupid things" how about Santas getting fired for saying "ho, ho, ho".
Ken G November 22, 2011 at 07:45 PM
Blatant, Hatred, and Bigotry seem common in the right wing party as well. Although As I've said, these things do bother me, but i just try to ignore them (referencing your link), and actually maybe they should keep their opinions to themselves.
Mattie November 22, 2011 at 07:56 PM
A little FYI; Atheists come from all walks of life AND all political affiliations. I am not an atheist, per se, nor do I try to insult Christians or anyone about their religion. I will however call attention to other points of view anytime ANY religious follower forgets themselves - and expects an arrogant (religious) sovereignty over others. I will always call them on it, because they need to be called on it. That being said, if you read the article that accompanies that (very) inflammatory billboard, you'll see it was done as a direct result of the claims about a War on Christmas (every year). Very Small group making a point. And yes, I can see why Christians would be offended. But put away your broad brush about political sides.
Ken G November 22, 2011 at 08:02 PM
Well Put Mattie, Christmas is not the only holiday around.
Mattie November 23, 2011 at 02:33 PM
Ken, I was curious about the Ho Ho Ho story you mentioned so I researched it... Here are the facts: There are two stories about Santas being fired for things they said; I believe both happened circa 2006 or 07: 1 in Australia, (not America) and the place that fired him claims he was ultimately fired because of a "poor attitude" on and off the job as Santa. Yes, it's true, that company DID actually consider replacing Ho Ho Ho with Ha Ha Ha! because of the American slang word "ho" meaning prostitute. (ridiculous!) 2. The American Santa that was fired was also NOT fired for saying Ho Ho Ho, but for telling "adult" jokes and making "racy" innuendos whenever adults were around, (but NOT KIDS). An older couple got offended, complained and Santa was fired. He was subsequently given a new Santa job at a bar/comedy club and paid twice as much as his gig as a store Santa, and he gets to tell all the Naughty Boys and Girls jokes he likes. All's well that ends well. Still no war on Christmas or Santa. :-)
ginger December 13, 2012 at 10:37 AM
are you not just a riot ! festivus believe that was a made uo holiday from seinfeld?

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