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Santa adjusts to new normal of coronavirus pandemic

National News

Julianna, 3, and Dylan, 5, Lasczak visit with Santa through a transparent barrier at a Bass Pro Shop in Bridgeport, Conn., Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020. Santa Claus is coming to the mall — just don’t try to sit on his lap. Malls are doing all they can to keep the jolly old man safe from the coronavirus, including banning kids from sitting on his knee, no matter if they’ve been naughty or nice. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

‘Twas three weeks before Christmas and all through this house not a creature was stirring, except for this mouse, as Santa struggled to connect on Zoom. Which is why the children heard him exclaim as he came into sight — nothing. 

“Can you hear me, TJ?” Santa asked a child who was waiting to speak with him via Zoom. 

“It’s a constant struggle to be a 2020 Santa Claus,” he said. “And I make no secret that I don’t know what I’m doing.” 

Coronavirus has made Santa long for those simpler times of Polaroid poses and parting gift candy canes.

Fortunately for Santa and his helpers across the nation, there are support groups. In these chats, technologically challenged elves help each other navigate their new normal.

For Santa Bob Jordan, who summers outside Boston, the transition from private parties to virtual visits has been an especially tough chimney to climb.  He got “Zoom for Dummies,” which helped, but one look around his workshop and you see what a jolly old analog elf he is. And yet, he got himself a webcam.

“And I get a boom microphone and a ring light,” Jordan said. “So that helps. It’s very doable. It’s gonna happen. Christmas is coming, ’cause you know you’re going to make someone happy.” 

And perhaps because of that unconditional love a Christmas miracle happened — Santa figured out Zoom. As have elves across the country.

This month they will do thousands of virtual visits. And although it’s not the same as Santa’s lap, in some ways, it’s better. Because if it’s really the thought and effort that count, Santa has already given us his best gift of the year.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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