Santa Visits Go Virtual

(NBC News) With COVID-19 infections on the rise once again it’s going to be difficult or even impossible for many families to relive a beloved holiday tradition this year: Taking the kids to see Santa Claus.

Fortunately, several online services have popped up giving families the chance to talk to Santa without leaving home, and because parents tell the jolly old elf all about their children beforehand, the visits are often more intimate than spending 30 seconds with Santa at the local mall.

It’s not a one-size-fits all experience many online Santa services create custom visits based on children’s special needs, languages, and ethnicities.

“You could choose a Black Santa. You can choose a signing Santa, you can choose Spanish speaking,” says Rocell Viniard of

William Evelsizer of Santa’s Club calls their virtual visits “a very personalized, spiritually uplifting experience for the child.”

Virtual visits with Santa generally cost anywhere from $20 for a recorded video to $65 for a live video chat.

Both Santa’s Club and Chit Chat with Santa donate a portion of their profit to charity.

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