Massachusetts store's beer bong display near mall Santa Land causes controversy

A Massachusetts mall’s Santa Land is a few feet away from a novelty store’s fun-with-beer window display -- and that has one parent in a lather.

Geoffrey Seidel of Scituate complained to the Quincy Patriot Ledger that at the Hanover Mall in suburban Boston kids visiting Santa have to scoot past a Spencer’s Gifts which features beer pong tables and beer bongs in the window.

“I can’t think of a worse place for that,” Seidel told the paper the other day. “It stretches the imagination to find a scenario more diametrically opposed. The innocence of youth and the magical belief in Santa Claus on the one hand and vulgar advertising the joy of alcohol abuse on the other.”

Seidel was just as upset with a poster in the Spencer’s window that shows two women in  ugly sweaters that say “Let’s Get Holly, Jolly Hammered” and “Tis the Season to Get Wasted.”

Seidel told the paper he is the father of a 12-year-old girl and shouldn’t have to explain to her what’s inappropriate about the Spencer’s window display.

The Patriot Ledger spoke to Spencer’s general counsel, Kevin Mahoney, who said Seidel’s complaint is the first the company has gotten about the display.  There are 600 Spencer’s Gifts stores around the country.

“I think most people understand the irreverent nature of our humor and that we’re not promoting any anti-social behavior,” Mahoney said.

The poster promotes the chain’s “Ugly Christmas” line of T-shirts, sweatshirts and sweaters, which Mahoney said has been growing in popularity.

The paper said calls to the management of the Hanover Mall were not returned.