More Supply Problems as a Santa Shortage Looms

(AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Supply chain snafus are already wreaking havoc on Christmas shopping as shortages of popular consumer products are being seen all across the country.

But there’s also a shortage being reported of Santa Claus entertainers. And the demand is far outstripping the supply.


It seems that 300-500 Santas were lost during the pandemic last year, while thousands of others are hesitating to interact with the public. Most Santas are elderly and don’t want to risk the exposure.

Related: White House in Full Crisis Mode Over the Fate of Christmas

Mitch Allen, the founder of, told USA Today, “Our demand is up over 120% from pre-pandemic levels.”

Stuart Deacon Jr., a 26-year-old Santa in the Houston area, said the one thing that worries him is making sure people, especially children, are clean when they visit him, as a number of his “brothers and sisters” have passed away due to COVID-19. When he’s not Santa, Deacon works at a COVID-19 testing center at a local school district, so he has seen how damaging the pandemic has been to his community and he wants to ensure the virus doesn’t spread through his gigs.

If Santas are choosing to be in-person, expect precautions such as social distancing, so children more than likely still won’t be able to sit on Santa’s lap.

“It would be the worst thing in the world for a Santa Claus performer to unknowingly spread COVID,” Deacon said. “Santa Claus does not bring coronavirus, so we all are very, very meticulous.”


Do you want to tell your child that you’re going to see Santa but you can’t sit on his lap or stand less than six feet away? Doesn’t sound like much fun.

Another factor is demand is increasing far too late in the year. Mitch said people think trying to book around early November is a good time frame, but actually he begins booking in January. So if people were planning on having Santa for their event on December weekends, they are most likely out of luck, as he says there are thousands of holiday events that have yet to book a Santa.

“We’re asking our clients to have some flexibility about dates and times,” he said. “We just can’t do it… It is an administrative calendaring nightmare.”

Deacon said that he was getting booked for gigs as early as July and by the time it was October, all of his December weekends were booked. He added he’s also turned down offers because of the hectic schedule.

“There’s just not enough of Santa Clauses to go around,” he said

It turns out that companies like HireSanta are also short of Mrs. Clauses, elves, and helpers. The labor shortage has hit the North Pole hard.


“If you’ve got a real beard, a real belly, you’re real jolly and you’ve got that Christmas spirit, that’s who we’re hunting for,” Allen said. “We’d love to help Santas get more work and also help to spread the love and joy of Christmas to more people.”

It would be nice if the love and joy of Christmas would be universal this year and shared by people everywhere.

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