It turns out he does his afternoon shift at a different mall. And that he changed his clothes (and also his beard) since we'd seen him. But again there wasn't a line, and he spent lots of time chatting with them. Lyra was a little reluctant, as I knew she would be in the afternoon, and even Adriana clung to my hand at first, but he started singing "All I Want For Christmas" to Adriana and asking Lyra how high she could jump, and soon he led them over to his bench and read them a story.
He got them onto his lap and we got a couple of smiles out of them.
And then as the woman taking the photos was showing me what she'd gotten, we heard giggles, and turned to look. The girls had discovered that Santa's beard was tickly and were cracking up. The woman picked up the camera and started snapping photos again.
Finally, he asked what they'd like for Christmas. Adriana requested a baby doll and "lots and lots of legos." Lyra asked for a flying hockey stick. I guess she figures that will have to do until she's big enough for a rocket.
PS: I like the Blogger now lets you click on the photos to see them bigger.