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The Pandemic Won't Steal Christmas This Year, Thanks To Virtual Santas

Beth Casper

COVID-19 has disrupted many traditions this holiday season, including kids’ visits with Santa at malls, churches, and other gathering spots. But the jolly old elf won’t let the pandemic spoil the fun.

Credit Beth Casper / YMCA
A little girl in California talks to Santa via Zoom.

Several local Saint Nicks have gotten with the times. Corey Anderson and a co-worker have set up shop at the Eugene’s YMCA, and do ZOOM calls with kids.

SantaCLIP: “Santa? Is my daddy on the ‘nice’ list?” (MOM laughs) Anderson: "Is your daddy on the ‘nice’ list?  I’ve been looking for your daddy’s name on there…(groan)…I’m sure it’s on there…”

Anderson told KLCC that his face hurts from hours of smiling and chuckling, but…

“It’s pretty awesome," he added. "To be able to spread some Christmas magic out there has been truly a blessing.”

Credit Photo provided by Bil Morrill.
Bil Morrill of Cottage Grove is another virtual Santa, who says his career has quickly expanded past friends and family.

And Bil Morrill of Cottage Grove says the pandemic let him grow out a beard that made him a convincing Santa. He enjoys the virtual experience with kids.

“They carry the phone around the house and show me the wonderful things that they’ve made," said Morrill.

"It just warms my heart. I truly think I’ve gotten more out of it, than the kids are getting out of it.”

Both Santas report ZOOMING with dozens of excited kids since they started offering their online visits.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.