Six feet away — ‘You can still hear their wishes’

Santas have had to adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even so, the Christmas spirit is as strong as ever.


National News

December 4, 2020 - 5:03 PM

Sophia Musumeci, 5, of Mullica Hill, interacts with Santa while maintaining social distance through a Plexiglas wall at the Cherry Hill Mall. Photo by (Jose F. Moreno/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS)

PHILADELPHIA — In normal times, Delaware County’s “Santa Kringle” is honored each holiday season when families welcome him into their Christmas celebrations. “One of the biggest honors,” he said, is when parents hand him a newborn for the child’s first Santa photo, one that “will be around far longer than I am.”

But due to the coronavirus pandemic, Kringle — who also goes by Frank Naimoli — has had to change the way he interacts with the wide-eyed children who now visit him at outdoor, socially distanced photo shoots.

“They can’t sit on my lap. I can’t hold them,” he said. “But you can still hear their wishes. That’s the most important part.”

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