Due to the pandemic, Dr. Carl Anderson who plays Santa Claus at the Dallas mall transitioned from physical visits to virtual meetings according to a TexasMonthly article. They say,
“Visiting Santa at NorthPark, a local institution, has become a family tradition for many. Some Texans who were wee things when he first made an appearance there are now parents and bring their own little ones to see him. He calls them second generationers. But last year, because of COVID-19, Santa Claus held only virtual visits; he’s doing the same this year. Parents can sign up online for a five-minute session for their kids with a $25 or $50 donation that goes to Children’s Health (Santa raised $130,000 for the nonprofit in 2020).
Santa, who is known as psychologist Carl Anderson the other eleven months of the year, was able to spare a few minutes during this hectic season to talk with us about his annual visits to Texas, what kids are asking for, and whether he misses the in-person visits at NorthPark.”
Dr. Carl Anderson, who had been playing Santa for more than thirty years, has retired. according to a Dallas Morning News article. They say,
“For more than three decades, annual visits with NorthPark Center’s Santa Claus have been a family tradition. Dr. Carl Anderson, who believes that “one of the richest sounds in life is children’s laughter,” is retiring from his role at the Dallas mall.
Anderson, who lives in Austin, has been coming to Dallas since 1989 to fill his Santa responsibilities at NorthPark, which included raising funds for Children’s Health by hosting breakfast with Santa. Visits with Santa were virtual the last two years, but that gave him time to visit patients at Children’s Health.”
For holiday 2022, a new santa experience should be expected according to NorthPark Center’s spokeswoman Kristen Gibbins.