Worried about getting swine flu during that visit to Santa? Just call St. Nick by telephone: no long lines at a busy mall or hand sanitizer necessary.
Founded by a mom whose own children were skeptical of the authenticity of the local mall Santa, SantaSpeaking.com was founded by Anne Gaskell in 2004.
“Santa's seasonal calendar started filling much earlier than usual with all of the reports of swine flu on the news shortly before Thanksgiving. We have about 35 percent more calls scheduled this season compared with this time last year,” said Gaskell, who has three children under the age of 9.
For those little ones who have “Santa anxiety,” receiving a phone call from Santa can be much less threatening.
The service pre-interviews parents to learn details about the child, so that Santa appears to be all-knowing, with information like friends' names, teachers' names, how they are doing in school, or specifics about whether they have been naughty or nice, Gaskell said.
Talking to Santa doesn't come cheap, though. Cost of calls and their recordings range from $21.95-$49.95. And no keepsake photo of junior screaming in Santa's lap.
Visit SantaSpeaking.com for more details.