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Allen said that about 5,000 to 7,000 professional Santa Claus work across North America and he keeps about 1,000 among his employees. He also noticed that some businesses have gone virtual after many community events, such as parades and tree lights, were preemptively canceled. He also noticed an increase in the number of people wanting to visit Santa in front of their house.
Santas who still make appearances in person are doing so in a “Santa-safe” manner, which includes providing PPE, Allen says.
“We’re not going to tell a Santa that he can or can’t do something in particular. Some of our Santa Claus use face shields, the mask really damages the image, ”he said. “If you wear gloves, be sure to replace them after each visit, sanitize your hands, don’t touch your face.”
Some retailers opt for the “Santa Shield,” a piece of acrylic sold by Allen, which serves as a barrier between children and Santa for in-person visits.
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“With the acrylic shield, you can make an image where Santa Claus is in a chair and the child is in a chair, six feet in front, and if you take the picture at the right angle, you can hide that distance”, Allen said.
Depending on the job posting, a Santa Claus in Canada can earn anywhere from $ 17 to $ 20 an hour. A professional Santa who works full time for the six to eight weeks leading up to Christmas can earn $ 5,000 to $ 10,000 as an independent contractor, Allen said.