Economic slump affects Santa Claus, too

Michael Holahan/Staff
Touto Kane, 3, and Sara Kane, 7, visit with Santa after the Christmas parade in downtown Augusta. Denzil Beeson, who has played Santa for 10 years, says he doesn't guarantee gifts and tells children that there are some gifts Santa can't bring.
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During an economic slump, even Santa is paying careful attention to never guarantee presents for children no matter how naughty or nice.

Santa waves to the crowd during the Christmas parade on Broad Street in Augusta. During an economic slump, even Santa is paying careful attention to never guarantee presents for children no matter how naughty or nice.  Michael Holahan/Staff
Michael Holahan/Staff
Santa waves to the crowd during the Christmas parade on Broad Street in Augusta. During an economic slump, even Santa is paying careful attention to never guarantee presents for children no matter how naughty or nice.

“You never promise anything. You don’t know the situation,” said Rick Pinnell, who has played Santa for the Boys and Girls Club of Augusta for more than 15 years.

Children seem to be taking cues from their parents’ financial straits as many are shortening their lists for Santa, Pinnell said. As kids whisper high-ticket items into the jolly old elf’s ear, Pinnell has learned gentle phrases over the years to sidestep promises and ease worrying parents.

“You can see the look on the parents’ faces,” Pinnell said. “They want to give their kids a lot of things but they know it’s going to be a bleak Christmas.”

At the Santa Claus Academy in Atlanta, founder and owner Gary Casey has trained more than 5,000 Santas to never promise a toy. That lesson is becoming more important, especially as requests have moved from Barbie dolls and baseball bats to expensive electronic game consoles.

“The kids are not stupid. They know exactly what is going on in the economy, and they get all this information from who? The parents,” Casey said.

At home, parents often tell a child some toys are too expensive. Children remember that when making their list and visiting Santa, Casey said.

Denzil Beeson, who has played Santa for 10 years, uses the same age-old wisdom year after year.

“You just tell them some things you can’t do,” Benson said. “You can tell a child who doesn’t have a lot because they don’t ask for a lot.”

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nothin2show4it
120
Points
nothin2show4it 12/08/11 - 07:31 pm
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Santa's just tell the
Unpublished

Santa's just tell the children that the elves went on strike and are helping Obama and the Occupy Wall Street crowd so there won't be as many Christmas presents this year. Tell them that he had to hire Fred Russell and the first thing he did was give all of the Elves managers raises, reduced pensions, cut back the number of employees and purchased air rights to fly over Augusta. There just isn't enough money to go around this year. Santa is going to have to rebuild his finances now.

nothin2show4it
120
Points
nothin2show4it 12/08/11 - 07:34 pm
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I almost forgot this. Since
Unpublished

I almost forgot this. Since the cutback Santa will have to help subsidize the new housing project that Ron Cross and his cronies are shoving down the residents throats because some of the unemployed elves will be living there.

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