Santas Only One Call Away, Literally

This is how many places including Lapland, the 'home' of Santa Claus, plan to save Christmas from the clutches of the Grinch this year (we mean the pandemic)
Now you can schedule a virtual meeting with an official Santa
Now you can schedule a virtual meeting with an official Santa

Kids and the young at heart (and parents), you may be happy to know that this pandemic Christmas comes with a silver lining, thanks to the folks at Lapland. They are letting you add Santa to your Zoom list. 

We&rsquore talking about conversations with the one person kids may pine for. A bunch of Santas across the world are evolving with time, and offering virtual visits to people in a bid to help them combat the Christmas blues this year, and add a dash of excitement to their home-bound celebrations.

Ed Taylor, for instance, has graced tree-lighting ceremonies, charity events, and commercials with his red-suited alter-ego for years. Now, he is almost like a genie. Book a call, and summon him on your screen for a warm chat in front of your ornament-strung tree. Of course, these virtual meetings aren&rsquot what we&rsquod call &lsquocheap&rsquo. They&rsquore contingent on the number of minutes you keep Santa occupied for, starting from $100, and ascending.

 
 
 
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A post shared by That Santa Guy (@thatsantaguy)

You can also indulge in a conversation with Santa and Mrs Claus through Visit from the Clauses. A five-minute chat costs $49, while a ten-minute conversation crawls to a total of $69. Though expensive, they do help multiple Santas sustain themselves during a Christmas that deviates from the ways of its traditional predecessor.

UK-based Santa At Home is organising 12-minute Zoom sessions with the capacity to accommodate six children, and an unlimited number of adults hailing from any part of the world. "Thanks to Santa's mind-boggling memory, some elbow grease from the elves, and some help from the big children, Santa will know the names (and plenty more) about absolutely every child he meets," says Santa at Home's organiser, Underbelly, which curates live events and festivals.

In all, these session cost &pound42, equivalent to &pound7 per child. If you&rsquore hankering after a more-personalised experience, you can send in details about your child beforehand, and they'll accommodate.

Santa&rsquos Club, too, is organising five-minute live sessions with up to three children at once. Prices range between $50 and $70. Redeeming the higher-cost package rewards your children with a mailed invitation from the North Pole, accompanied by a magical letter, and a wristband. Sam&rsquos Club, on the other hand, is offering free chat sessions to its members.

 
 
 
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A post shared by Sam's Club (@samsclub)

These services transcend borders, and permeate a number of places in the world. In Finland&rsquos Lapland, alias Santa&rsquos official hometown, a diminishing tourism sector necessitated the introduction of virtual calls with Santa.

The city&rsquos Santa Claus Office, Santa Claus Amusement Park, and Santa Claus Village, usually thronging with crowds during the holiday season, are nothing but lonely stretches of land now. Visits have dwindled to a mere half million, as opposed to last year&rsquos 2.9 million overnight stays, since the onslaught of the pandemic, and livelihoods have been rendered obsolete as a consequence of recurring losses. Santa&rsquos underground theme park has witnessed a loss of over 350 jobs over the year.

However, you can pay a visit to him in lieu of having to schedule an elaborate trip to Finland for a similar experience, 

In continuation to all these new things happenings in Finland, another surprising piece of news has emerged. Santa Claus is running a football club, the FC Santa AC in Rovaniemi, Finland.

As bizarre as it may seem, it&rsquos true.

Go ahead, look it up.

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