We first spoke with Kevin Lowry, owner of the Santa phone call service Santa Calls Me, several years ago.
At that time, Lowry told us about the personal nature of his Santa calls and how Santa weaves the names of family, teachers and pets into the conversation.
The information is requested when reservations are made.
This year we asked how Santa deals with children who might be frightened by the call. Lowry said that does happen sometimes.
Sometimes it is a little scary to have Santa calling when it is unexpected. It is not widely known that Santa can call up good boys and girls, so it may give some a bit of a start.
However, once they find out that they have made it on the Nice List for the year and that Santa is congratulating them on all they have accomplished this year, they usually switch from being quiet to being overly excited.
We also asked what parents, and children, can expect when Santa calls.
An average call starts with Santa ringing up with what comes up as a blocked number (the FCC does not allow anyone to change their caller ID). Usually the phone is answered by the parents who sound as surprised and excited to find Santa calling the kids. Santa will ask to speak with the children by name. (this is a great time to make sure that Santa is pronouncing the names correctly, especially if it is a unique name or pronunciation) Then Santa takes the time to share why he is calling and speaks to each individual child on the call for six to ten minutes. Many times there are older siblings that Santa is more than happy to talk to and if they want to stay on the nice list they get into the call as well.
Santa really likes to focus on the positive aspects of the year for each child. That being said, he will bring up one or two things the child could improve on for next year, but Santa makes sure each child is left feeling special and not that they were being reprimanded. Santa will also share secrets about the North Pole, his reindeer and his elves. Santa will end the call to take care of some business at the North Pole (there is a lot to do, you know). And with a ‘Ho, Ho, Ho!’ and a ‘Merry Christmas’ a magical Christmas memory has been made.
As for how old a child should be before getting a call, Lowry said it really depends.
Setting a minimum age for the call is difficult. All children develop at different pace. That being said, if the parent or other loved one thinks the child will get some joy out of a call, whether or not they can fully participate, it seems worth it. I get a lot of great feedback for calls with children as young as three and, of course, Santa makes calls to adults as well. He has spoken with adults who are well into their sixties.
The prices for the personalized Santa calls range from $19.99 to $32.99.
The $32.99 price is for calls made on Christmas Day. Lowry says that, even at this late date (12/19), reservations are still available for calls on the days leading up to Christmas and on Christmas Day. He expects Christmas Eve to be the busiest day and said that those spots will fill up quickly.
Additional options include the addition of an email from Santa, adding more than one child or adult to the call, a certificate of recognition for being on Santa’s Nice List, and CD or MP3 recording of the call.
Have you used Santa Calls Me or a similar service for a Santa call to your child?
Tell us about you or your child’s experience in the comments section below!