(CBSDFW.COM) - Sitting on Santa's lap poses some challenges in the age of COVID-19. That's why a North Texas manufacturing firm has focused on creating a unique solution for Santa -- and the children.
It all started with one question Mark Lieberenz, owner of Bella Design Group, said.
"One of our clients asked, 'Can you help us come up with a solution so that kids can be able to see Santa Claus this year?'" he said.
So Lieberenz and his team at Bella Design Group did just that. They've built prototypes of five different Santa safeguards made of acrylic, so that even during a pandemic, Santa can safely come to town.
"We just wanted to have a natural interaction between the kids and Santa and not have it feel any different than any other year," Lieberenz said.
The setup is meant to look seamless in photos, so that from the right angle kids look just like they're sitting with Santa.
Bella Design Group is marketing the guard to malls and stores all across the nation, so that any store who wants to have Santa can do so safely. On Wednesday, Santa came to the Dallas/Fort Worth area to test it out.
"I said I think I can spare a few minutes, so we came on down, and we're helping out to see if this will work, and it looks like it works very well!" a man dressed as Santa said. "It's always lovely to be able to hug a kid and the kid wants to hug you, but you know Santa understands this year's a special year, and you know he wants everyone to be safe because he doesn't want anybody to become ill while they're visiting Santa."
It's a solution all about safety.
"And you know, even Santa wears a mask!" the man said.
His other message? That children should not worry about Christmas because despite the pandemic, Santa will still be coming to town.
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