TODAY | December 04, 2012
>>> time for sara breaks out in the city when she gets it try her hand at odd jobs all over the country.
>> and join in on the hustle and bustle in the mall in new jersey.
>> growing up, my brother and i would visit every year, so you can imagine my excitement when i got a chance to work out next to the big guy himself. check out my elf skills. the tradition of visiting santa at the department store began over 100 years ago. with some experiences being nicer than others.
>> ho, ho, ho.
>> while occasionally scary, folks continue to flock to st. nick with their christmas wishes .
>> first time to see santa .
>> and now, even pets are getting in on the holiday spirit.
>> he wants a lot of love for christmas.
>> he wants a bone.
>> merry christmas !
>> when does christmas start?
>> last friday was the official kickoff. santa has a lot of fans, cats and dogs as well, so we welcome everyone.
>> including me, but it wasn't just a visit. i got the chance to be his right-hand elf. first thing's first, a wardrobe change. too much?
>> perfect, you look great.
>> okay, i didn't want to do this part alone, so i brought a friend. i'm sexy and i know it
>> first thing, turn the set on. got to try this one out. as the new elf on duty, i tried to make a friend. they didn't teach you to handshake? sorry.
>> that was a little weird.
>> sporting my red and green costume, kids felt compelled to open up. you haven't been a good boy?
>> i've been a bad boy .
>> i mean really open up.
>> i made mistakes.
>> everyone makes mistakes. it's just if you learn from them. staying on schedule, it was time to bring out the big guy . five-minute warning!
>> ho, ho, ho, let me get my hat on!
>> as one of his elves, i got the exclusive santa scoop. do you have a favorite reindeer?
>> you heard it here first, i work with kathie lee and hoda. are they on your naughty list or your nice list this year?
>> well, we're working on that. if everything goes well in the next few days, i believe they might make the nice list.
>> you guys got this, come on. after schmoozing it up, santa put me to work. can i walk you over to santa ? going over to santa . oh, if only santa brought me something like jeremy. my mom would be happy too. my next task, work the camera. ready, all dogs up here, one, two, three! yeah, santa , way to work the camera. that was a great picture. i may have gotten a little snap happy. kiss the person next to you! even if it's a dog! you guys need to kiss. everyone flex on three. kisses to the camera, he's never blown a kiss. after much talking and a lot of kissing, santa was getting tired, so i called in reenforcements. no, me. as my elfdom drew to an end, it was our turn to strike a pose. i think we did it this year.
>> ta-da! i stayed a little longer. i'm glad you shot that or it would have been awkward.
>> heart warming.
>> what i didn't know is that tradition started in 1890 in brockton, massachusetts, with a guy that just started doing it in his store.
>> i didn't know it either. the things you learn.
>> that was a lot of