Video-ho-ho Santa calls for kids

A video direct line to the North Pole for children to share last minute present requests with Father Christmas has been launched.

By Chris Page
Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 2:46 pm
Virtually Christmas
Virtually Christmas

The service has been launched following research that reveals over half of parents haven’t this year taken their kids to see Santa in real life this year.

Sleigh bells or, in this case video phones, will ring all over the country on Thursday December 23 as Welcome Break unveils Santa’s direct dial, allowing youngsters to submit eleventh hour gift wish lists to old Saint Nick.

With Christmas just days away, one of the UK’s leading motorway service operators has polled the nation to discover staggering 51 per cent of Brits report their children haven’t visited a festive grotto this year.

Santa calling

Parents in the East of England are most likely to have not seen Father Christmas in real life (71 per cent), closely followed by those living in the East Midlands (62 per cent).

As ongoing uncertainty over the Omicron variant continues, it’s no surprise that of those polled whose children haven’t seen Santa, nearly half (48 per cent) said it was due to COVID-19 restrictions. Other reasons included a lack of time (38 per cent) and the cost involved with visiting the Big Guy (23 per cent).

While Santa may have made his list and be in the process of checking it twice, he has been able to take a day out of his busy schedule to receive any final present requests. For one day only - December 23 - between 9am and 5pm, children will be able to video call Father Christmas by dialling 07355 069291.

While on the line, little ones can share their Christmas wishes, asking Santa any questions they might have about the North Pole and his Christmas Eve plans.

Survey findings also revealed that one in seven Brits (15 per cent) leave their Christmas shopping to the week leading up to Christmas (18th – 24th December) and a staggering 378,693 Brits leave their present purchasing until Christmas Eve itself.

A fifth of men (20 per cent) admitted to leaving their Christmas shopping to the week before Christmas, while those in the 25-34 age bracket were found to be most guilty of leaving gift buying to the last minute (22 per cent).

With reports suggesting 13 million Brits will be driving home for Christmas this year, the biggest number for five years.

Welcome Break CEO John Diviney said: “Christmas can be a stressful time for parents and with last year’s festivities being put on hold, there’s a lot of pressure to make this year’s memorable with close family.

"We want to help ease that pressure by being there for Christmas travellers who want to stop and recharge on their way to loved ones, whilst also helping parents ensure their little ones get one on one time with Father Christmas himself.”