A fake, plastic “mounted” reindeer head at a mall Christmas display “traumatized” a young boy, so his furious mother forced the mall hosting the display to take it down, Sky News is reporting.
Every year, the Mall shopping center in Maidstone, Kent, England, decorates a Christmas grotto with a different theme. What’s more, the themed Christmas grotto, where kids can meet Father Christmas (what they call Santa Claus in England), raises money for charity — and indeed, since the shopping center has been doing it, it’s raised more than £200,000 ($266,474).
This year’s theme is a medieval theme, harking back to England’s history during the Dark Ages. The playful display featured, among other things, a playful medieval castle. And since hunting and mounting trophies was a popular pastime of well-placed lords and earls and whatnot, a mounted reindeer head seemed to make sense for this year’s theme. At least, that’s what Marketing Manager Suzie Brindle believes.
“Each year the grotto features a different theme and this year is medieval castle and the plastic deer’s head formed part of this.”
Adele Keen, however, is having none of that. The mother says she and her 6-year-old son saw the reindeer decoration, and although she tried to hustle him away from it before he noticed it, it was too late. He was so “traumatized” that he began crying and asked if Santa had killed his reindeer.
Disturbing scenes at Santas Grotto in #Maidstone @MallMaidstone They’ve only gone and killed Rudolph and had his head mounted???????? #RudolphMurdered #ChristmasRuined #Taxidermy #SantasGrotto #Inappropriate pic.twitter.com/vQ04EBawHE
— John Austin (@WalterJAntiques) November 13, 2017
Another shopper was similarly unimpressed and called the display “inappropriate.”
After hearing the complaints, the Mall’s management took the display down, says Brindle.
“Having heard that the display was causing concern, we took steps to remove the decoration after opening hours which complies with health and safety regulations. We apologize for any upset caused.”
However, according to Kent Online, organizers are concerned that the change to the theme will hinder this year’s fundraising efforts.
Not everyone in Kent is as alarmed at the grotto as the people who complained. In comments on the Mall’s Facebook page, commenters have expressed concern at the organizers giving in to the demands of a couple of whiners. Most comments on the story are in favor of the display, with one commenter lamenting the “daft PC society” that exists. Other commenters suggested that, rather than taking their frustrations out on the shopping center, parents of traumatized kids could simply explain the display to their kids.
[Featured Image by Mark Murphy/Shutterstock, Therealjoco/Shutterstock]