2020 has been rough on a lot of people. Even Santa Claus is not immune.
Yet, there may be no one better suited to pull people out of the funk than Santa Claus.
“Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas! Ho! Ho! Ho!” he bellowed from out front of a National City 7-Eleven.
“They brighten up real quick when Santa does his, ‘Ho! Ho! Ho!’” said David Hernandez, who reprised his role as Kris Kringle again this year despite not being able to visit his usual destinations. He also added a red face mask with snowmen.
“This year’s different in a way that I’m not able to go out and meet and greet with all the kids like I used to do at the libraries, the Boys and Girls Club, the elementary schools,” said Hernandez.
The 56-year-old National City resident has been a fully-bearded Santa Claus for more than two decades. This year has been the hardest.
“You know, it’s really hard on Santa himself, let alone the kids," he said. “Here we are out here in the sun in the daytime. Where’s the kids? They’re all at home. They’re not out and about.”
Instead, Hernandez stood outside the 7-Eleven and handed candy canes to the adults coming and going. He said he'll do this wherever he can through Christmas.
“I’m a little frustrated,” admitted Santa. “But I’m still out here trying to do it, let everybody know that, ‘Hey, Santa’s out here and he’s still trying to spread joy and love to everybody.’”
2020 even jolted the jolliest.
Yet, Hernandez belted out a “Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas! Ho! Ho! Ho!” to everyone who drove or walked by.
“It brings such joy to my heart when I do that.”