April 22, 2021

Playing Santa is a tough job

I mean, why would you want to take on a job where you are pulling one over on kids every single day? It’s not just the costume– you’re pretending to be someone who doesn’t exist, someone that children believe can do anything, someone that kids have euqated with God. Especially this year, children in the areas which Katrina hit have a difficult time:

“How will Santa find me? I’m not in my house any more,” one child said.

“There’s no fireplace in the trailer where we live. How will you get in?” another asked.

“Can Santa make sure no more hurricanes get here?”

Vollenweider, who has played Santa for about 10 years and currently works at Lakeside Shopping Center in Metairie, Louisiana, answers as best he can.

“I tell them, ‘Santa is magic. He’ll find you wherever you are. He won’t forget you,”‘ Vollenweider said, taking a break from listening to children’s Christmas wishes on Monday.

To children who asked him to prevent future hurricanes, he said: “Santa will do his best, but some things even Santa can’t control.”

Lakeside Shopping Center, on the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain, was damaged when Katrina ravaged New Orleans in late August, but it reopened to huge crowds on October 28.

While Santas in other parts of the country marveled over sometimes extravagant requests — like kids as young as 6 asking for laptop computers — those in the hurricane zone were struck by the children’s poignant appeals: a house for their parents, or all their old toys back.

“Santa has been very good and explains that he may not be able to get them all back,” said Anne Mialaret, marketing director for The Esplanade mall in Kenner, Louisiana, about 15 miles from downtown New Orleans.

Your heart really goes out to these kids. Here they are, truly concerned about their parents, their houses, etc. and they go to a person they think can do something about it, and this person has to do his best to keep his act as well as not promise anything that can’t be delivered.

This is one of the reasons why my family will not do Santa Claus, for we have a Creator that is more powerful than a storm, that can actually make a difference in your life, and that you can go to at any time with any trouble you have and know that He is listening and is able to do something about it.

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