What a holiday season it has been so far. Everything has changed for families across the world in 2020, and so many of the traditions we've taken for granted have either been put on hold or changed significantly. Like visits to Santa Claus, for instance. Many parents have made the decision to let their kids visit him virtually, a decision that not only kept their kids safer but also came with an added bonus: An insider view of what they might be asking for this year. And if you had any concerns about this generation, take heart because kids' top questions for Santa have revealed they are very worried about his safety this year.
This year, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, StoryFile created free site called AskSanta.com, which gave kids the opportunity to have chats with Santa Claus (the popular Santa Cortney who has been answering kids' questions at The Grove in Los Angeles for years) in real time. Much as they would if they were able to visit him in person, safely at home.
Kids from 170 countries around the globe visited AskSanta.com this year, and the website compiled a list of the most asked questions to come out of their conversations. One of their main concerns was that Santa and his elves would be safe and protected delivering toys during the pandemic.
"By far the most frequent thing kids bring up with Ask Santa is their concern for his safety during the pandemic," Heather Smith, CEO of StoryFile, said in a statement shared with Romper. "We are seeing through the interactions just how concerned children are. They are telling Santa they are hungry, or sharing that a relative passed away. It is heartbreaking at times, but we are comforted by the fact that Santa is offering an empathetic and comforting outlet."
Santa told the kids each time that he would be safe, that Christmas was not canceled, even showing kids his mask so they would know he was following COVID-19 safety protocols. Fortunately, Santa has some top scientific experts who can back him up. The nation's leading infectious disease expert Dr. Fauci told USA Today that Santa is "immune" to the coronavirus, while Canada's chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam had him declared an essential worker in an effort to help him deliver toys safely.
The kids weren't just concerned for Santa and his elves during the pandemic either; StoryFile found that they also wanted Santa to help sick relatives and even wanted to know the best gifts they could give to other people.
Now before you start getting too emotional about the empathy for Santa, please know that one of the top questions asked by kids was still whether or not they were on the naughty list, according to StoryFile. They were also kind of nosy, asking Santa how old he is and wanting to know his "real" name.
It has been an extraordinarily challenging year for kids with quarantine taking away so much and leaving them with little control or security. Which is why Santa himself shared a special message with Romper, “2020 has been really hard for so many people, but Christmas will still be awesome if we remember what it's all about. That’s why I’m so happy that AskSanta.com is free and that children can talk to me for as long as they want. Ho Ho Ho!”