From supply chain shortages to rising prices at the pump and grocery store, the pandemic has had an impact on every facet of our lives. Now it’s keeping Santa out of town.
That's right. There’s a nationwide shortage of Santas.
“We have lost some of our Santas and had to recast this year,” said Brittany Skipper, Owner of Royal Entertainers.
The Kearny Mesa company hires actors to play various characters, including Santa for private parties and events.
Skipper says she lost seven of her 20 Santas for various reasons, including pandemic concerns.
“During COVID, some Santas were cautious and said, 'Hey, I’m going to take the season off.' And this season they've said, 'I’m going to take another season off,"' Skipper said.
The national group Hire Santa says requests for appearances are up 120%. Skipper says she's seeing a similar business boom, with bookings doubling from a year ago
“Because everyone is ready to party, and because everyone wants to see Santa and get back to normal," she said.
To meet the demand, Skipper said she had to get creative and offer bonuses to employees who helped her hire eight new Jolly Old St. Nicks.
After spending last season spreading Christmas cheer behind a facemask or inside a snow globe, Santa Bobby is ready for some normalcy. It doesn't hurt that the suit’s white gloves are a built-in safety measure that helps make sure everyone he comes in contact with has a Merry Christmas.
“We’ll be doing weekly COVID tests to make sure I keep Mrs. Claus safe," he said.