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Santas in Hungary ditch the chimney and go online to meet children instead

Santas in Hungary ditch the chimney and go online to meet children instead

Janos Nemes, dressed as Santa Claus, waves as he interacts with children by video in a photo studio, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Budapest, Hungary, December 1, 2020. Picture taken December 1, 2020. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

With Hungary under partial lockdown to curb a surge in COVID-19 cases, several local companies have started offering online meetings with Santa Claus for children holed up at home with their families.

One of the Hungarian companies that normally rents out Santas for families and business events has come up with several forms of COVID-19-proof meetings.

Janos Nemes, dressed as Santa Claus, prepares to interact with children by video in a photo studio, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Budapest, Hungary, December 1, 2020. Picture taken December 1, 2020. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

They pre-record personalised messages and send them by post or provide online sessions with Santa greeting children from his home office with a Christmas tree and festive lights glistening in the background.

"Which child would expect that while watching some video on a laptop with Mom and Dad, suddenly Santa appears live and calls them by their names," one of the Santas, Pal Pillmayer said.

Children are seen on a screen as Santa Claus interacts with them by video chat, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Budapest, Hungary, November 30, 2020. Picture taken November 30, 2020. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

"I think this will be a much greater joy and happiness this year," said Pillmayer, who has several online meetings scheduled for the coming days.

Janos Nemes, a pensioner and part-time Santa, who sat in a studio for a whole day recording messages for children said he will miss greeting them.

"I do miss the magic and the sometimes very moving personal meetings."

Pal Pillmayer, dressed as Santa Claus, talks as he interacts with children by video, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Budapest, Hungary, November 30, 2020. Picture taken November 30, 2020. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

(Source: Reuters)

Source: Reuters

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