Zoom Santa: A Wonderful Way To Avoid the Holiday COVID-19 Blues
You haven't seen me write as much. Well, in these times of COVID 19, movie reviews are non-existent and, to be fair, my emotions have been all over the place.
I don't say this to get you to feel sorry for me. I say this because I imagine you're a lot like me. While taking the current pandemic seriously and doing your part to slow the spread, you've watched comic book conventions, movies, and many other things that you love get canceled. And at the time I'm writing this, we really don't have a way to gauge when, or even if, things go back to normal.
I had come to terms that since things didn't slow down by the end of summer, that the holidays wouldn't look the way that they have in the past.
But what has transpired is feeling like I live in two different worlds, one where COVID-19 does exist, and another where people carry on like it never existed in the first place.
While that's another post entirely, I've made some executive decisions regarding how I do the holidays this year and one thing was for certain, Mall Santa was out.
Living in the times of COVID-19 means constantly asking yourself, "is it worth it?" for every interaction and move you make. Pandemic or not, Santa is always busy. Even if you social distance from him, there's not quite a way to social distance when standing in line for hours.
Zoom was already gaining popularity well before the pandemic, but its popularity has since skyrocketed. We've found a way to communicate with one another while remaining distant. Life goes on, people say, but we do things a little differently so someone's life can continue.
That's the cool thing about Zoom Santa. while you aren't physically able to sit on Santa's lap, it gives kiddos a chance to have one-on-one time with Santa, which I think makes it a more personalized experience.
There are other people doing Zoom Santa, but Billie Taylor, a school teacher, really stood out to me. He cares about his community and wanted to give back. I was able to get him to sit down and interview with me about what gave him the idea to become Zoom Santa. Keep reading as I get to know a little bit more about this awesome Zoom Santa.
Quinzel Lee: What gave you the idea to do Zoom Santa?
Billie: "Well, 2020 has been kind of a strange year to say the least. With Covid-19 having a huge impact on the way we carry out our daily lives these days, and the need for social distancing, it hit me that there might be a lot of people that would normally take their kids to go see Santa that will choose not to do that in order to stay away from large crowds. Times have also been tough for many of us financially, so this idea seemed like a way to both make a little money for my family and bring Santa to people who want to avoid large crowds."
Quinzel: What is one of your favorite childhood memories of Santa?
Billie: "One of my favorite childhood memories about Santa is about how my Grandpa would dress up as Santa every Christmas and come to our house with gifts and candy. It was so exciting to have the “actual” big man himself in my own house! This only worked for a few years though, because at a certain point I realized that Santa was actually my Grandpa. Knowing that he was my Grandpa didn’t make it any less special to me though. I was still excited when he would come over as Santa on Christmas eve, even when I knew it was my Grandpa playing Santa."
Quinzel: What Christmas movie do you think portrays Santa in the best way?
Billie: "I love so many Christmas movies, but my favorite portrayal of Santa is in The Santa Clause movies. In this movie, you see a regular guy, hard-pressed by life, through a series of events transform from this selfish guy, into Santa Claus, full of Christmas love and magic. I know it is kind of cheesy, but it shows us that anyone can be Santa, and in fact, we are all Santa. If we allow love, compassion, kindness, and the spirit of giving to come into our own hearts, in a way we all transform into Santa."
Quinzel: What does your family think about you playing Santa?
Billie: "They love it! My younger kids still believe in Santa, so they are excited that Daddy is being one of Santa’s helpers. One thing about me is that I am a huge nerd who loves to go to comic conventions, and cosplay as some of my favorite characters. For the past eight months, there have been no comic conventions due to Covid-19, and I have been extremely missing that part of my life. My wife made the comment to me that being Santa is my opportunity to cosplay during these strange unprecedented times, and she is happy for me to get that out of this as well."
Quinzel: Last question. If Santa could bring you anything you wanted, what would you want and why?
Billie: "I could easily go for the “all the feels” answer and say that I would wish for all of the political tension to end in our country, or for there to be an end to Covid-19, but how about I go nerdy with this question. If Santa could bring me anything I wanted for Christmas, I would love to have a PS5 with the Spider-Man Miles Morales game! In the past 15 years, I have only purchased one video game console. My kids are no longer babies, and I just wrapped up my Master's Degree, so it would be fun to have this game to fill some time! And I absolutely love Miles Morales Spider-Man, so the thought of web-slinging through New York as him sounds like a good time!"
If you are as inspired by this story as I am, you should definitely book a session with Zoom Santa. The awesome thing is that it's not only super personal, a memory your kids will never forget, but very affordable too. For some good old-fashioned Christmas fun, check out Zoom Santa's Facebook page where there are daily posts of all things Christmas.
Schedule a time slot today and make Christmas special this year!
Christmas 2020 may be one of the most, for lack of a better word, unique holidays we have seen in this lifetime, but people like Billie are determined to make the best of it.