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The supply-chain issues, labor shortages and increased energy prices have affected dear Santa and the North Pole. The Wall Street Journal reports, “The economic trend has extended to the men who play Santa Claus at parties, and shopping malls, according to Mitch Allen, ‘Head Elf’ at staffing agency Hire Santa.”

If we can’t get gifts this year anyways due to supply-chain issues, do we even need Santa to climb down the tree empty-handed? Head Elf Allen says he has seen a whopping 121% increase in requests to hire a Santa this season.

Likely everyone is trying to get back some of the joy they have missed in almost two years. However, there could be more than 15% fewer professional Santas available. Those that can make themselves available have tremendous bargaining power. Depending on the event, Allen says Santas can charge up to 25% higher due to the demand and short supply.

Many things are contributing to the Santa shortage, not unlike many valuable jobs such as law enforcement, nurses, doctors, pilots and teachers. Allen says many of the potential Santas worry about contact with young children who could be spreading COVID-19.

Also, many Santas are afraid to shake their ‘belly like a bowl full of jelly’ as the stocky, jolly heavyset men are at higher risk of coronavirus complications.  Allen also said only about half of the events are offering some sort of social distancing protocols. Telling Santa what you want for Christmas at a six-foot distance just isn’t the same.

Additionally, like many people across multiple fields, have simply decided to “hang up their black snow boots and retire since the last normal Christmas season in 2019.”

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