Despite the pandemic and all the worries of the 2020 elections, there is one fella who exudes happiness for children and their parents. Yup, you guessed it. It’s the elf known for his white beard, jolly laugh and red-and-white outfit highlighted with black belt and boots — Santa Claus.
For 32 years NorthPark’s Santa has compared notes with area children and years later watched them bring their own children to him to confess their wishes.
When confronted by the challenges of the COVID-19 restrictions, Santa wasn’t about to let the kids of North Texas down. Gathering his NorthPark Center elves and The Women’s Auxiliary to Children’s Medical Center members Andrea Nayfa and Aphrodite Paulos together, they came up with a rather brilliant program — “A Season Of Giving” — for annual visits to take place but safely.
Starting the day after Thanksgiving (aka Friday, November 27), NorthPark’s jolly old soul will see and speak virtually with North Texas munchkins starting at $24.95 with 100% of proceeds benefiting Children’s Health.
With a twinkle in his eye, Santa smiled, “I am so excited to visit with all of the children I’ve gotten to know over my many years of being at NorthPark. Bringing magic and wonder into the lives of children is more important than ever. These virtual visits and story times from the North Pole will make out time together safe and enjoyable while taking special care of our friends at Children’s Health.”
Here’s the game plan: Since visits with NorthPark’s Santa will virtually take place in real time from Friday, November 27 thru Wednesday, December 23, bookings will open Sunday, November 22, at noon. Additional time slots will be released online in weekly increments at noon on Sundays (November 29, December 6, December 13 and December 20).
After guests lock down their date and time, they “will receive a confirmation email with secure link to access their virtual visit. Each visit will include a private conversation with Santa live from his cozy home at the North Pole, along with a shareable commemorative photo and video.”
Suggestion: Don’t wait to reserve a time slot closer to the “big day” (aka Wednesday, December 25). The early booking really, truly pays off.
BTW, there is no limit on who “can also join in the magical experience.” Grandparents, in-laws and other cherished ones will be welcomed.
According to NorthPark Chief Elf/co-owner Nancy Nasher, “NorthPark is thrilled to partner with Children’s Health on an exciting and innovative virtual Santa Claus experience this holiday season. Supporting the great mission of Children’s Health while also offering safe, personalized visits with our beloved Santa is especially relevant and meaningful this year.”
Another tradition going online will be Santa’s telling his memorable stories every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. starting Saturday, November 28. Just think the little ones can rise and shine and listen to Santa and not even get out of their pajamas!
And thanks to the wonders of onlining, Santa will also be able to have “special virtual visits to children receiving in-patient care at Children’s during the holiday season.”
Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Brent Christopher said, “Children’s illnesses and injuries don’t take a break. The world-class team at Children’s Health remains on the front lines every day, continuing to carry out the mission of making life better for children. The incredible generosity and commitment to the community by Nancy Nasher and NorthPark Center remains as strong as ever. Thank you for bringing the joy of the season to children and families across out community and for your wonderful support of Children’s Health.”
Thanks to NorthPark Center, Lantern Family Foundation, The Paulos Foundation and many other donors and participants, Santa’s own wish to spend time with North Texas children will come true, despite the challenges of the season.