For two years, due to the corona virus, Santa Claus could only give Christmas presents at home to a very limited extent. Now some agencies in Brandenburg are again registering high demand from families with small children. But there is now a lack of suitable personnel in the gift-giving industry. "We used to have a regular base of older, single men who otherwise had to spend Christmas alone at home and would rather enjoy the bright eyes of children," reports Ronny Schröter, Managing Director of the Cottbus Santa Claus office. "But such actors are now more difficult to find."
Schröter therefore published a call for help in mid-November: Because of the shortage of skilled workers, Christmas Eve was already fully booked, Schröter wrote. "The more actors who agree to the job, the more children's hearts will beat faster." He currently only has half a dozen Santa Clauses who deliver ten to twelve presents between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve. At least twice as many Santa Clauses would be needed, says Schröter.
The Potsdam Santa Claus Agency is also fully booked - and has been since October. After two years with corona restrictions, the need in the families is high, reports managing director Nadim Jovicic. "The first bookings were made in June this year." Jovicic switched to video telephony during the Corona period, so Santa Claus appears on the screen for the children.
On the other hand, the Christmas office of Petra Henkert, who supplies Berlin and the commuter belt with Santa Clauses from Zeuthen (Dahme-Spreewald), is experiencing only restrained demand. This applies to inquiries from companies, for example for assignments in department stores or at company celebrations, as well as inquiries from families, says Henkert.
Many companies lost sales during the Corona period and now they are suffering from the energy crisis, she explains. And the increased prices are also a problem for many families. "Even Santa Claus has to pay more money for the fuel when driving to the Christmas party," says Henkert. Therefore, the price for a gift on Christmas Eve has risen to over 80 euros. Henkert knows that more than 50 euros is not possible for many families. "Of course it's not nice for the children, but I don't know of any other solution to the increased costs."
Henkert reports that there was hardly any video telephony in her agency during the Corona period. "There were hardly any inquiries and only a few Santa Claus actors wanted to." Instead, there were gifts outside in the garden or in the parking lot in front of the house instead of in the living room. "Some said: That's so nice, we always do it like this now," reports the managing director
Cottbus Santa Claus Santa Claus Potsdam Christmas Office