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The Santa Ratings: Cherry Creek Mall

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How Santa can be in so many places at once is something we will never know, but one thing is for sure: Right around Thanksgiving (and all the way until Christmas), you can find him anywhere people are buying stuff. We decided to stake out each incarnation of Santa in and around the Mile High City and see how he compares, beard and all -- to himself.

At our first stop, the Cherry Creek Mall, we found Santa positioned right in the middle of the urban consumer enclosure, fancied up with scenes from Narnia, the North Pole-like theme of the last few years. This was our first Santa-stalking mission, so he's not up for comparison yet -- but our guess is that he will be the fanciest, based mostly on his plush, velvety throne.

Bathed in blue light and surrounded by faux-frosted trees, this handsome Santa came dressed in a refined red suit, no flashy accoutrements or unnecessary flair. He was sweet and not creepy, and though his line of children was long, he was more than happy to smile for our cameras. We should also note that this Santa gets extra points for legitimacy, as his beard and curly white locks are the real thing. I know because I touched them.

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