Bedford Place Mall Santa puts himself up for hire ahead of holiday season

Click to play video 'How Santa Claus is adapting to COVID-19 pandemic' How Santa Claus is adapting to COVID-19 pandemic
The pandemic has changed the way many of us go about our daily lives. And that’s no different for the big man in red. Santa Claus has already had to make some big changes ahead of the holiday season. As Graeme Benjamin reports, he’s taking his visits to your home. – Sep 30, 2020

It may still be a few months until Santa Claus comes to town, but he’s already making preparations ahead of a holiday season destined to be unlike any other.

Felix Perry, who has become well-known as the Santa Claus at Bedford Place Mall for the past 14 years, has put himself up for hire after learning in-person Santa visits won’t be happening this year.

“Some of the malls have decided that Santa’s visit is kind of scary and it’s kind of not what should be socially done,” Santa told Global News.

Read more: Coronavirus — 2020 CP Holiday Train cancelled, to be replaced by virtual benefit concert

Global News caught up with Kris Kringle on Wednesday at his remote workshop in Dartmouth. He said this has been a hard year for children, so he wanted to do his part to make the holiday season even more special.

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“A lot of their playgrounds were cancelled, they couldn’t go to the lakes and the beaches anymore, so Santa worried about the children not having me around for Christmas,” he said.

So that’s why jolly old Saint Nick decided to think outside the Christmas gift box.

Click to play video 'Cookie Competition with Santa Claus!' Cookie Competition with Santa Claus!
Cookie Competition with Santa Claus! – Dec 24, 2019

He put himself up for hire on his Facebook page earlier this week for at-home visits during the holiday season.

It didn’t take long for the inquiries to start pouring in.

“This time it will be more personal,” said Santa. “In their own home, in their own space, so they’ll be able to get the feeling that they can talk to me and play with me and laugh with me without a time constraint.

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“People love Christmas and they love to be together on Christmas with family and friends, and I don’t think nothing will ever change that.”

Santa is charging $100 per hour-long visit. The visits will be socially distanced and include Santa bringing his sack for parents to fill with a small gift for their child. He also will read them a Christmas story and let them check the naughty/nice list for their names.

As for what Christmas morning will look like, Santa says there’s no need to worry, as travel restrictions don’t apply to Saint Nick and his reindeer.

“I’ll still be making my rounds, the reindeer are all geared up,” chuckled Santa. “As you know, the animals aren’t as affected by COVID as we are, so they’re still going to be able to fly.”

Read more: Santa Claus parades in planning stages for Saint John and Lancaster

Santa is also reminding kids that even in the middle of the pandemic, he’s always watching.

“I know when you’re naughty and I know when you’re nice,” he warned. “So please be good to each other, help each other out, and make sure you get to bed early on Christmas Eve, and no peeking.”