NEW SPRINGVILLE — Santa Claus came to town just in time for Thanksgiving this year.
The Staten Island Mall winter wonderland kicked off Thursday with a tree lighting ceremony — six weeks before Christmas.
Instead of its usual indoor ceremony, the mall took it outdoors with dancers, carolers, musicians and, of course, Saint Nick.
The performances culminated with a holiday parade featuring Santa, Mrs. Claus, snowmen — along with less seasonal favorites including an Elvis Presley impersonator and Spider-Man — before the mall lit up its 80-foot tree outside its main entrance.
And while celebrating Christmas two weeks before Thanksgiving might be early for some, people like Amy Portalatin said they can't start soon enough.
"It's never too early," said Portalatin, who took her three kids to the ceremony. "I'm ready to put my tree up this week."
Santa will be at the mall for pictures until Dec. 24, according to the mall. On Monday nights until Dec. 15, people can also bring their pets to take pictures with Kris Kringle.