A couple that dresses up in Christmas costumes every year to spread holiday cheer were kicked out of two local malls in Nashville, Tenn., with security officials reportedly accusing them of interfering with the mall Santa.
David and Bette Carter showed up at the Opry Mills Mall in Nashville, Tenn., on Black Friday to do some Christmas shopping, but upon arriving in costume and interacting with the crowds, they were asked to leave, WSMV-TV reported.
“As we were walking through the mall, some young woman who was security there asked us to leave,” Bette told the outlet.
The two said that the shop owners, in contrast, wanted them to stay to help bring customers in.
As for David, he responded to the claim that he and his wife were ”interfering with the mall Santa” and said that they were simply offering holiday greetings to their fellow customers.
“No beard, no belly, no belt, no boots, no bag,” he said of the Santa claim. “Just ‘Merry Christmas’ and stuff like that. Nothing offensive or anything.”
David and Bette were also later booted from Rivergate Mall, again, presumably because of their costumes.
A spokesperson from Opry Mills apologized to the couple following the incident.
“We regret that we did not handle this correctly, knowing that they were just embracing the holiday season as we do,” a representative said in a statement to WSMV-TV. “As valued shoppers, we hope they will accept our apology and an invitation to return to Opry Mills soon.”
Bette said she has no plans to return to a mall anytime soon.
Featured image via WSMV-TV