Sorry Virginia, There Is No Santa This Year…at Least Not at the Mall

By Laurens Hoddenbagh/
By Laurens Hoddenbagh/

We’re all familiar with the Santa setup at our local mall. Every year, kids gather for the chance to sit on Santa’s lap. It’s a chance to tell the big guy what he should be bringing when he shimmies down the chimney on Christmas Eve. And, it’s a chance for mom to get her annual photo that she can share with the family.

Only, well, that might not happen this year.

Santa is busy sitting on his butt at home because Biden gave out too many stimulus checks. Oh, and he continued unemployment benefits for far too long. Don’t expect the elves to show up, either. They’re enjoying their hot cocoa paid for by taxpayers who have been working all season long.

That’s the sad reality that we’re faced with this year. Just as you see “Help Wanted” signs at your favorite restaurants and retailers, they’re also found at the mall administrative offices. Those same offices that are responsible for hiring someone to sit in an ornate chair for half the day while snotty toddlers and sassy children climb on and off his lap.

The job has never paid well. And, after getting kneed in jewels for the fourth day in a row, the one playing Santa will often think about leaving and not coming back.

Now, with the pandemic, the idea of being sneezed and coughed on doesn’t sound too hot. And, there’s always the question of whether the mall is going to play by Biden’s rules and demand that Santa have all of his COVID vaccines in before assuming the position.

CNN recently reported that there’s a shortage of Santa’s helpers thanks to the tight labor market. This means that malls across America may not be able to have the elaborate setup that they have come to depend on every year.

Sorry Virginia, there is no Santa Claus at your local mall.

Try being the parent that has to explain that to a toddler. There’s always the traditional letter that can be written to Santa…and every Macys always has their famous red mailboxes that have a delivery straight to the North Pole. And, there’s always the modern version where kids can email Santa, too.

Demand for Santas is up by over 120 percent, which isn’t a surprise. Given the doom and gloom of the pandemic, more places want to have Santa come in for a visit because it helps to spread holiday cheer.

According to a professional Santa Claus school in Denver, they are down Santas by about 10 to 15 percent over prior years.

Now, it’s time for the ultimate truth bomb.

Look at the type of person who is going to play Santa: An older, heavy-set male. Well, this is the height of concern for COVID exposure because men are often hit harder than women. And, if you’re overweight, you’re more likely to experience problems with COVID. So, if kids aren’t vaccinated, Santa doesn’t want to take the chance of getting the virus.

There are certainly ways to circumvent the Santa shortage, like we talked about with writing letters and sending emails. However, there are also virtual and video visits. This way, Santa can sit back in style without having to worry about a rogue knee or a deadly sneeze.