SACRAMENTO — Did you know that Santa needs to be saved? Well, a shop in Old Sacramento says he does, so they've put together a holiday display unlike any you've seen.
It's designed to teach children about the impacts of how choices we make here on Earth could affect Santa, where he lives and what he does.
Old Sacramento is filled with family-friendly events this holiday season, including the popular Polar Express train ride and the annual Theatre of Lights.
But this year, there's another holiday attraction for kids that is a little less merry and bright.
"Santa for a long time has been trying to protect the whole planet by himself, but now he needs everybody's help to do their part," said Shira Lane, Mrs. Claus.
Mrs. Claus is teaching kids a grim lesson about global warming.
"The North Pole is getting warmer and the North Pole is a magical place that protects the whole planet," she said.
The Saving Santa discussion is tasteful — there are no pictures of drowning reindeer — but the message is clear: Dasher, Prancer, Donner and Blitzen's home is in danger of disappearing.
"There is no land mass in the North Pole so when it melts, Santa will be unhoused," Lane said.
It's a tale many parents support teaching.
"Saving the planet is of course a really important thing for people to be focused on right now," one parent said.
"I think it's important. I personally believe in global warming, and I've taught my daughter Natalia to try and recycle and pick up trash," another parent said.
The presentation is inside Atrium 916, a store that sells locally made sustainable and recycled goods. And the kids are taught a story about how Santa's home is no fairytale.
"We're young and we don't want our kids to grow up in a world that's just totally depleted of resources, and I think it's good that these places are teaching people to do their part," one teen said.
The Saving Santa Experience takes place Wednesdays through Sundays until December 23.
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