Hire Santa says demand for appearances by Saint Nick exceeds availability
NEW YORK -- According to Hire Santa, requests for face time with Santa are at an all-time high, but at the same time, there's a Santa shortage.
CBS2s Vanessa Murdock caught up with two Santas hear more about what's happening this holiday season.
Dennis Daniels, who has been a Santa Claus for 30 years, enjoyed a moment of peace and cookies before the chaos of the Christmas season ensues.
"This year, I am extremely busy right from now through Thanksgiving right up to Christmas," he said.
"You've had to say 'I'm sorry, I can't make it this year' to some, correct?" Murdock asked.
"I've had to say it too many people. I can only be in one place at a time," Daniels said.
He shares his presence used to be requested at just tree lightings and parades.
"Since COVID and then right after, there's been a boom, a need for organizations and schools and even private citizens looking for Santa," he said.
Howard Graham, another Santa, says he had "quite a few" places around the country that asked for him by name, but the one place he wants to be is right here.
"Somebody says to me, 'We want you in New York,' that's where I'm going to be," Graham said.
"At Hire Santa, we're seeing 2022 being the busiest year ever. We're up over 30 percent from last year and over 130 percent over pre-pandemic levels," said Mitch Allen, head elf and founder of Hire Santa.
Allen says people want to get back a sense of tradition.
For every new Santa hired, there are 20 jobs available. Allen adds the interest in more diverse Santas grows every year.
"A huge demand for Black Santas, for Spanish-speaking Santas, even French-speaking Santas," he said.
"That's been the biggest change over the last two years, is I'm specifically being sought out," Daniels said. "I had one mother come up to me last year and she had tears in her eyes and she held my hands and she said, 'Finally, after 50 years, here you are, a beautiful Santa of color for my children.'"
A beautiful Santa to help curate those precious Christmas memories, if you're lucky enough to hire one.
Hire Santa adds it's not just Santa in high demand – Mrs. Claus and elves are too.
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