GURNEE, Ill. (WBBM) – A Hawthorn Woods man says bureaucratic red tape kept his 5-year-old son from a visit with Santa Claus at Bass Pro Shop in Gurnee.

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Santa was sitting right there. In plain sight. Laughing and talking with other boys and girls.

But as Ron Carlson’s 5-year-old son watched other kids telling Santa what they wanted for Christmas, Carlson’s son was told: “No appointment, no sitting on Santa’s lap.”

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“We were standing in line and the word was given that you can’t see Santa and we’re like, what? And they said, you don’t have a reservation, or a card or something.” said Carlson.

Carlson says his son thought Santa just didn’t want to see him. He says he e-mailed Bass and got a bureaucratic response.

“If I were the manager I might have said, ‘hey, why don’t you stop back and we’ll give him a candy cane or something.'” said Carlson.

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At other stores, Macy’s for example, if you want to see Santa, you just stand in line, which is what Carlson says he tried to do at Bass.