For kids who can’t sit on Santa’s lap this year, this website is magical.

So many of our Christmas and holiday traditions are canceled this year due to COVID-19. Christmas parties, shopping in stores, and, perhaps most importantly, children sitting on Santa’s lap. Even retailers and shopping malls that have Santa are forced to keep the ancient elf at a safe distance from the children who come to see him. 

Is it possible that technology can make a virtual Santa visit better than the real thing? It is.

Visitwithsanta.com is a website that brings Santa Claus into the homes of children over a video call. It isn’t a Zoom or Facetime, VisitWithSanta has its own technology and video platform that is safe for children and their parents. Charlie, Ford, and Lillian Felder got their personal Santa video call in their living room over their mom’s smartphone.

    “Can you see and hear me?,” Santa asks. “That’s the important thing.” And the Felder children shout “Yes!!!”

Mom Elizabeth and dad Andrew set up the video visit earlier online, giving Santa lots of information about what they got for Christmas last year, where they attend school, and some of their favorite activities. Santa can then have a very personalized chat with them. Elizabeth told me they took the kids to see Santa at a nearby store a few weeks ago but it wasn’t the same due to COVID precautions.

“He had his mask on, so you weren’t able to get up and sit on his lap and tell him what you wanted,” she said.

This visit, although online, was better. For $25 up to 3 children can chat with Santa Claus for about 5 minutes (this Santa chatted for much longer). He asks how things are going in their school, how their favorite teams are doing this year, and whether Lillian is enjoying her Barbie dolls and her own pre-school. Of course, he asks what they want for gifts this year too. He checked the naughty or nice list during the call and found all three had made the nice list. That announcement brought cheers.

He also told stories and made jokes. Seeing the looks on their faces made this visit special, not just for the children but for Elizabeth and Andrew.

    “That was amazing. Amazing,” said Elizabeth. “Santa knew the children, knew about them, knew what they wanted for Christmas. And really spend some time talking to them whereas when you go to the mall or Bass Pro you get about 10-seconds”.

Andrew watched his children’s amazement and was impressed. “That was a great experience. Obviously, the kids really enjoyed it. It was great, I liked the personal touch on everything.”

Following the video call, Visit With Santa will send the Felder’s a video that shows both cameras in a double-box so she can see Santa and the expressions on the faces of her children.

“That’s something I can have forever. And let them watch and watch with them as they get older.”

   You can sign up at www.visitwithsanta.com for visits up until Christmas Day but Santa is pretty booked from here on out. In case you miss out on scheduling it before Christmas, Santa’s taking reservations for the two days after Christmas for kids who want to say thank you. 

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