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Tips for a Great Santa Visit!

Santa is coming to visit your business & clients, so you want to be prepared for an amazing moment!  Check out these handy hints so that your time with Santa is the best it can be!

1. PARKING - Make sure Santa has a dedicated parking space available near the front or backside of your business.  We know there may be lots of people at your business the day of Santa's visit.  Please talk through details with him before he arrives so he knows where he can park!  If parking is difficult, it may be best to have a helper come out and take Santa's car to be parked, and then bring it back to him prior to him leaving. 

2. WALK-THROUGH OF SPACE - Before Santa comes to visit, make sure that you have scheduled a walk-through of your space with him in person at least a week prior.  Make sure he knows the layout, where he'll be entering, exiting, where things will be, etc.  The more prepared both of you are, the better you'll feel the day of!

3. SEATING AREA - Make sure that Santa has a comfortable seating area.  If he will be seated for long periods of time (over an hour), a comfortable wingback chair with sturdy legs is required.  "Comfy" sofas that look great aren't necessarily best for long periods of seating and posture.  A bench is fine for events that may run under an hour.  

4. TURN THE HEAT DOWN - If you are able to control the thermostat in your place of business, please make sure the heat is turned down to 68 or below.  It is even preferable to turn it off during Santa's visit.  Being from the North Pole, Santa is used to colder temperatures, and businesses spaces in Richmond, VA can get very warm, especially with lots of people inside.  Santa's comfort is paramount - thank you for helping with this! (You may even want to provide a small fan to blow cool air on Santa for long periods of time)

5. COAT RACK/SIDE BENCH - Santa does not wear his heavy coat and hat indoors because of how warm it gets.  However, he will bring them along and drape them on a coat rack if you can provide one.  A tall, single, wooden coat rack looks best.  If not, he can drape them on the chair or seating area.  You may also want to provide a side bench next to Santa's seat so that families may sit next to him.  While COVID cases are down across the board, germs are still heavily present this season.  It is recommended to continue to help stop the spread of germs to have a separate seating area next to/near Santa so that he does not have to hold many children.  

6. HEALTH & SAFETY - While currently no COVID policies are in place, it is highly recommended to continue to keep both children and Santa safe during his visit.  Please make sure hand sanitizer is provided and encouraged prior to children visiting with Santa.  If doing a "Breakfast with Santa" event, hands MUST be washed and/or sanitized prior to visiting with Santa.  No syrup fingers, please!

7. A NOTE ABOUT YOUNG/FRIGHTENED CHILDREN: The ages of 1 - 4 can be "one way or the other" in terms of a child's reaction and feeling about Santa. Children are either on board - or they're not!  If your child is screaming, frightened, crying, clinging to you - any sign of being traumatized, it is IMPERATIVE that you do not shove the child at Santa or make Santa hold that child.  Let the child watch for a bit, or observe older siblings/other kids who feel comfortable with him.  Never, EVER force a child to sit near or on Santa if they do not want to.  Santa is very good about talking to the child and seeing how they feel - he will always ask, "Would you like to sit with me?" If the child says no or indicates they do not want to, please honor your child's answer and be as supportive as you can. "Maybe next year" is definitely a thing!  Be prepared to be in the photo holding your frightened child if it comes to that (You may wish to dress appropriately for potential photos).  Some people find the "screaming child with Santa" photo hysterical and fun - this particular Santa does not.  Thank you for making sure that your child has a really great experience with Santa Richmond. 

8. GIFTS AND GOODIES - Santa always comes with special giveaways, such as stickers, coins, and reindeer bells.  However, if there are any special gifts you wish to give out, please coordinate with Santa ahead of time via email.  If you're having a large event, Santa may not be able to provide enough giveaways for all people, in which case, you may want to provide Santa with any giveaways you wish him to hand out. NOTE: Santa does not bring or give out food items (candy canes, cookies, etc) - but if you want him to give some out, simply make sure you give him those items during his visit.  

9. PHOTOS & VIDEO:  You are welcome to take all the photos and video you wish during Santa's time with your clients!  Make sure cell phones are charged, and if you have an old-school camera, those are charged or have fresh batteries.  

10. POINT PERSON - Whomever is the point person, Santa will text when he is on his way to your business, and will also text 5 minutes before his arrival.  It is best to have the point person come outside to meet Santa and help him with all of his bags and goodies.  

11. FINAL PAYMENT - It is best to make sure you are fully paid up with Santa before he visits.  Those payments can be made ahead of time via PayPal or Venmo.  You are also welcome to give Santa his final payment at the event, but it MUST be given to Santa in a sealed Christmas card, as it's never appropriate for Santa to be seen handling money in front of children.  Thank you! (A reminder that a late fee will be imposed if you forget your final payment)

12. AFTER SANTA'S VISIT:  Santa really loves memories of his time with you and your clients! It would make him SO happy if you would please send some photos and/or video so he can enjoy them for years to come!  If you're comfortable with Santa sharing photos and video on social media, please let him know - Santa loves Instagram and Facebook, and loves to share special moments with his followers and friends.  Tag Santa @santarichmondva, or #santarichmondva.

13. LEAVE A REVIEW:  If you are satisfied with your visit with Santa, please hop over to his Facebook page, and leave a review so other potential customers can see why Santa Richmond is the best part of the holiday season! 

If you have any questions or concerns regarding Santa's handy hints, please email him at santarichmond@gmail.com