It may be more difficult to get your kids to tell Santa what they want this year.
It’s not because the kids don’t want to see the man in red. Instead, some areas of the country are seeing a Santa shortage.
In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, there is a shortage of Santa Claus.
Allen attributes the shortage to Santa’s helpers retiring and others staying away this year because of health concerns.
“As you can imagine, most Santa Claus entertainers are high risk for a negative outcome if they get COVID-19,” Allen told KCRG. “A number of them are sitting this year out like they did last year, and, unfortunately, we lost a percent of them over the last 18 months due to COVID-19.”
Allen said that all places that he has provided Santas with will have them this year, but the Santas may only be available for a shorter time.
Royal Entertainers in San Diego is seeing a similar trend.
The company hires out actors to play Santa and other characters for parties and events.
Brittany Skipper, Royal Entertainers’ owner, told KNSD that she has lost 20 Santas this year.
Some Santas said they’re taking the year off to protect themselves from the pandemic.
While she’s short of Santa actors, the requests for the big man have increased 120%, Skipper said.
Darrick Betzenderfer told the “Today” show that while he is sitting out this year, he wants to get back in the chair next year.
“I want it so bad. I miss it. The kids need Santa especially this time of year,” Betzenderfer said.
So what is the best bet to see Santa this year?
“Today” says to plan ahead. Many families have already made reservations for the meet-and-greet.
Finally, don’t be surprised that there are still safety protocols in place, like masks and a socially distant meeting.