At the beginning of 2020, no one could quite have predicted that we would be in the midst of a world-wide pandemic. While Santa has survived many things in his more than 1700 years, the challenges for keeping both children and Santa safe were evident, but not insurmountable.
Santa Mike made a decision early on to not appear as Santa in a mask. A personal choice that indeed canceled some opportunities. But where’s the Christmas magic when Santa’s face is coved. Many Santas made different choices. The choices that were right for them.
Still, Santa Mike was able to do online visits as well as a handful of personal, but socially distanced appearances.
Much was learned from this season. Many things that will carry over to new seasons, even when there’s not a pandemic.
From Santa Mike to all of you, I wish you peace and the blessings of a safe and healthy new year.
Careful the things you say
Children will listen
Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim
Think children aren’t paying attention to everything around them when they’re going to see Santa?
Don’t be deceived. Children are very perceptive and you may find that a small side commment will stay with a child forever.
It was almost fifty years ago. The boy had gone with neighbors to a small town Christmas parade. After the parade, Santa was going to greet the children in the local fire hall.
There was a crowd at the door as people pushed forward to be the next in line.
The boy stood there. He might have been ten, or maybe eleven. Always a large child, he’d become used to the taunts of his school mates. But he didn’t expect it from adults.
Standing in line, trying not to be pushed out of the way, the boy waited his turn.
Then the man next to him, there with his own family of red-haired children looked at the boy and said,
“My God, son, you’re as big as Santa.”
The boy stepped out of line and never went to see Santa again.
Be careful of what you say. Especially in this year when things are a challenge because of COVID-19. Everyone is a little on edge, and children, while very adaptable, just might not understand everything that is going on.
A casual, but cruel, comment could last a lifetime.
Children will listen.
While Christmas is still almost six months away, Santa, along with his bearded helpers like Santa Mike RVA, is busy preparing for the season. But what will 2020 look like in terms of Santa visits?
With COVID-19 on everyone’s mind, lots of discussion is happening in the Santa community. How will visits be done? WILL visits be done?
Many Santas are moving to virtual visits. Santa Mike is working on that concept as well. It may just be the 2020 isn’t the year for personal visits.
Santa Mike happens to think that Santa appearing in a mask spoils the magic.
But what will children thing of virtual visits? We all know that children are comfortable with technology and video screens, so it might not be that much of a stretch.
All of this discussion brought up a very old memory for Santa Mike. Way back in the early 1960s, a local dairy store that sat high on top of a hill used to display a huge Santa. Next to that display was a booth where children could enter and visit with Santa.
But Santa wasn’t there. After all he didn’t have time to travel because he was too busy working with the elves to get the toys ready for his flight.
So children, including a very young Santa Mike, would see Santa appearing on a television screen. Technology being what it was in the 60s, Santa was probably on the other side of the wall. But children, including a very young Santa Mike, believed that they were speaking to Santa at the North Pole.
It seems that everything old is new again.