ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Holiday traditions like Christmas celebrations and visits with Santa look different this year because to the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the changes old St. Nick is keeping the spirit of Christmas alive.
“To see the eyes of the kids when they actually do get the chance to see Santa. It’s always some kind of fascination because they get to believe in Santa for a few minutes,” said Santa Terry who slipped into the classic red and white coat, for the very first time 5 years ago.
“When I put it on, it became a completely different thing. You’re no longer just a guy, you’re Santa, Santa Claus.”
The pandemic has caused that magical experience to happen at a distance at the Bass Pro Shops in Rogers.
“It was different because of all this COVID stuff going on. There was a little shield around Santa and we couldn’t sit on his lap” said Cal Taylor who visited with Santa Terry.
With some creativity and lots of disinfecting, Santa Terry is making spirits bright again at a time he said is needed more than ever.
“Santa is magic and he always brings to the kids a sense that anything is possible and everything is good at Christmas.”
Santa Terry tells us some children are feeling the weight of the pandemic and it shows in their Christmas wishes. They’ve been impacted at home, school and in many aspects of their lives. Some kids are asking Santa for more than just toys and electronics this year and are looking to St. Nick for a helping hand.
“One little girl asked specifically for $100, so she could help her mom pay the bills. I thought that was very sweet and sad at the same time.”
He tells us kids have asked to find jobs for their parents, to put food on the table and to make the coronavirus go away.
Santa Terry said the magic of Christmas is needed more than ever this year which is why he makes sure every visit is extra special.
He does not plan to hang up his red coat anytime soon.
“It gives me a real sense of accomplishment and a sense of joy. I’m bringing something into the lives of children. I hope everybody has a Merry Christmas, Ho, Ho, Ho!!”