CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Things are already getting festive in the Streets at SouthGlenn mall in Colorado.
They are kicking off the holiday season with a Christmas parade. And everyone is waiting for the guest of honor. Santa.
“It’s exciting, it’s thrilling, it’s magical. The children are the core of the magic of Christmas,” said Susen Mesco, with American Events and Promotions.
Susen Mesco is donning her Mrs. Claus outfit as she helps Santa at the holiday parade.
She also runs a Santa school and knows that it might be harder to book Santa for your holiday party this year.
“Usually, we do about 60 Santas live. They start in February with their classes,” said Mesco, “In the past couple years, because of travel situations and people not wanting to be in a conference situation, what we’ve found is about the half enrollment of the Claus Clan,”
The labor shortage that’s been impacting the whole country seems to have made its way to the North Pole as well.
“Seasonal labor is traditionally in the same target market where there’s been difficulty hiring,” said Jack Buffington.
He runs the supply chain program at the University of Denver and says it’s not shocking the labor issue is impacting Saint Nick.
“You think about it, it’s like a four-hour seasonal shift, making $20, $30 an hour. I mean, gosh, especially given the fact that most of the people who fit in this category are not supposed to be in public, big crowds, or around unvaccinated people,” said Buffington.
Mesco said a shortage of Santa’s is only part of the problem.
“This year, more people want to have a party,” she said
Demand is up, so if you’re trying to have a party on the weekend in December, you might have an issue finding a Santa. But of course, Mrs. Claus has a solution.
“You can have just as much fun on a Tuesday night. Smores and cookies taste just as good on a Tuesday night as they do on a Saturday. So if people are flexible, Santa’s are going to be able to make it to every one of those parties,” said Mesco.
Just like everything else we’ve been through the last year and a half, a little flexibility goes a long way.
And maybe it shouldn’t be so shocking that there’s a shortage of Santas this year.
“I don’t know why everyone is so surprised. There’s only one Santa Claus,” said one of Santa's elves.
And there’s one night. He should definitely be available.
“Boys and girls, don’t forget that if you’ve been good, no matter what happens, Santa will be there on Christmas Eve,” said Mesco.