What This Year’s "Santa Shortage" Will Mean for Your Kids’ Visit with the Big Guy

Have visits with Santa been added to the short supply list?

By: Amanda Mushro

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Photo by: Gpointstudio


Ho, ho, oh no! Could a visit with Santa before Christmas be the next thing on the shortage list? According to many stores that usually host Jolly Old St. Nick during the holiday season, getting the big guy booked is getting harder by the day. So, why is there a shortage this year, what does this mean for your kids, and should we be looking at the Grinch for answers?

Turns out, there are several reasons for the Santa shortage and many have to do with Covid and not the Grinch — even though it feels like his handiwork.

One of the major reasons for the St. Nick shortage is the demand for visits from the North Pole have increased. While more holiday events are happening this year, people are looking to book more Santas to meet happy boys and girls.

Mitch Allen, who is the owner of Hire Santa, told CNN that the demand for Santas has doubled since pre-pandemic holidays, but the number of Santas he employs is down 10%. Other companies that hire out Santas agree that it’s harder to find Santas to meet the growing demand.

Many of the reasons behind this decrease in Santa availability are pandemic-related. Several of the actors that play Santa don’t want to put themselves at risk of being exposed to Covid and some Santas have decided to retire or take this year off.

Susen Mesco, who owns a professional Santa school in Denver, told CNN that the lack of Santas this close to Christmas is stressful. "The bookings are overwhelming this year. I'm getting calls for a Santa about every eight minutes," she said. "But it's not all bad news. It also means that people are emerging from the other side of the pandemic. Now that we've all had two years to figure out and adjust to the pandemic, more people want to be together."

So, what can you and your family do if you haven’t visited Santa yet? Plan ahead and be flexible, is what experts are advising. If there is a particular place you and your family frequent for your Santa visits, call and head and book an appointment. Simply showing up to a mall with kids dressed in their best holiday gear may mean extra long lines or a fully booked Santa. However, if you have a reservation, you can avoid lots of tantrums and tears.

Checking out other options for visits with Santa may help you sneak in a quick visit without the extra hassle. So, check out alternative opportunities in your area that are hosted by communities or other businesses and book those spots early.

If there’s been one piece of advice for this entire holiday season, it’s to plan ahead — and that’s what you’ll have to do when it comes to visiting Santa this year too!


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