Santa back on roads of East Texas
NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - It’s beginning to look more like the Christmas Santa ambassadors have been wanting.
More Santas are lifting COVID-19 restrictions. At the same time, there’s a shortage of ones willing to help the real Santa out.
David “Santa” Stanley is one who can’t wait to greet children. He has a lot of tricks in his bag.
The biggest trick is juggling a demanding schedule across East Texas.
“We have 24 events scheduled. Two days we have three events each,” said Stanley while showing off his detailed appointment book, complete with all the tricks he performed in previous years, so there won’t be any duplications this year.
The Santa and Mrs. Claus Ministry say they’ll take the risk, so kiddos can meet Santa face-to-face.
“For us, the children are getting on Santa’s knee if they want to.”
Frequent sanitizing is planned.
The couple’s biggest protection is being fully vaccinated with a booster.
“International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas said there were at least 50 Santas who died this last year. Lone Star Santas have had nine,” Stanley sadly shared.
And others are opting out of appearances due to weakened immune systems, creating a supply and demand issue for the bearded friends.
“According to Hire Santa, their demand is up 121 percent,” Stanley said.
There are unvaccinated Santas. The Stanleys are proud to have their vaccination cards for the children.
“We know we are providing a service, and they’re just totally in love,” Stanley said.
Some places where Santa is commonly seen are opting out of his visit. Lufkin Mall has photo sets for families to take holiday pictures.
For a complete schedule for the Santa and Mrs. Claus Ministry, go to the Big Red Box.
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