Tears of sorrow flowed from a young boy who was told by an Illinois mall Santa that he couldn't have a Nerf gun. But those tears are now ones of joy after the mall and others stepped up to rectify the situation.
A video that went viral showed Michael DeCarlo, 4, asking Santa at Harlem Irving Plaza in Norridge, Illinois, for the Nerf gun. When the Santa said no, Michael's mom, Sabella, thought the Santa might not have heard Michael say "Nerf."
"Nope, not even a Nerf gun," the Santa said. Michael looked back at his parents. Moments later, he could be heard crying.
The mall posted an apology and a video on Facebook, said that the Santa had resigned. It sent another Santa to Michael's house with a surprise.
"We are happy to report that the 'real' Santa visited the boy at his home today to bring him a Nerf gun!" the mall wrote. Michael excitedly tore open the wrapping paper and then the box.
Sabella told Fox News that she was surprised by the first Santa's reaction, given that the toy is sold everywhere. She said it felt like the Santa was shaming her son.
"Even if he doesn't agree with Nerf guns or guns, that's fine. But it's not his job to tell my son 'no'," Sabella said. "It's my job to tell my son 'no.'"
Michael's father said he goes over the proper handling of a gun with his son, including keeping the finger off the trigger.
Fox News announced that Hasbro was also sending Michael a care package of more Nerf toys.
After that, the NRA posted a video of another Santa delivering yet another Nerf gun and a vest with an "NRA Life Member" patch.
"Mean Santa won't be happy I have this," Michael said in the video.