Dallas’ Larry Jefferson, who captured the world’s attention last year as Minneapolis’ Mall of America’s first black Santa, will return to the venue this year for eight days.

Jefferson, a native of Nashville, Arkansas, is a retired member of the U.S. Army and the Texas Workforce Commission, who has become internationally known as “Santa Larry.” He will be set up at the Santa Experience at one of the world’s largest indoor malls from November 29 to December 8. And based on current bookings for Jefferson, he’s running out of appointments. Last year, he reportedly listened to more than 1,000 wishes over a four-day period. Landon Luther, co-owner of the Santa Experience, said in a local interview that Jefferson is a talented guy with a heart of gold.

“I’m excited about returning to the Santa Experience,” Jefferson said. “I don’t pay attention to that other noise. You know for me, it’s all about making people happy and seeing these kids’ faces light up with a smile and to hear their laughter. This is my favorite time of the year!”

For the past several years, Jefferson has appeared as Santa at corporate events, home and office parties, military events and hundreds of special events around the country. Why? He just loves Christmas and as he says, “I carry Christmas in my heart every day.”

Last year, he was received by many with open arms at The Santa Experience, but he also faced a wave of hate from others around the country when some called for a boycott of the Mall of America. Jefferson waves off the hate-speech, saying, "I'm just Santa. Everybody loves Santa." Jefferson retired from the Texas Workforce Commission, where he helped thousands of individuals find jobs by offering them tips on interviews, cover letters, resumes and the overall job search. He also has been U.S. Army Reserve Captain.