BALTIMORE, Md. — Getting a picture taken with Santa is an annual holiday tradition for many families but the need for social distancing makes sitting on Santa's lap out of the question this year.
Just like many people are working from home, and having meetings on Zoom, Santa has gone digital as well.
With the pandemic making Santa's lap off limits this season, kids might wonder how are they supposed to let him know what they want for Christmas.
Groove Kidz with Santa co-founder Joy Burley said “we saw a commercial with Santa and we got inspired. We were like, you know with Covid-19 going on, the numbers are going up, the children can't see Santa in person this year, they can't go sit on his lap and take pictures, they can't go eat breakfast with him, so we said what can we do to still bring Santa to the children.”
Sisters Margo Burr and Burley are co-founders of the creative movement and dance program Groove Kidz, and now Groove Kidz with Santa.
Margo Burr said “it's open to children. All children who love Santa, who are in the Christmas spirit, we want to keep it open to them. We go all the way down to preschoolers. Even if you're up into middle school, high school, if you're in high school and believe in Santa that's awesome too.”
Before Santa makes his list and checks it twice, parents will need to go online to the Groove Kidz with Santa website and fill out a form to give old St. Nick a few hints about their kids and let him know if they've been naughty or nice.
“It will ask for their child's wishes, some accomplishments, their name, birthday, things like that, and we'll send them a customized letter. Then, right after that, they'll be directed to the place to schedule a virtual call with Santa,” Burley said.
As is often the case with many families, the man making his appearance in the red suit and fluffy white beard is none other than Burr and Burley's father but we'll just call him “Santa.”
“Santa" said “it's still very fulfilling. I still feel good after I’m done. Santa loves the kids, on camera or on his lap, either way it's fantastic. I love this time of year.”
“Christmas is one of the greatest seasons. It’s family. I love it,” “Santa” added.