ODESSA, Fla. — A couple from Florida that specializes in Christmas art worried many children wouldn't get to visit Santa this year, so they got creative to keep the tradition alive.
Larry Hersberger always had a love for the man who makes a list and checks it twice.
"Christmas has always been special to me since I was a boy. I was raised in the prairies," said Hersberger.
Hersberger's wife, Ela Bednarek, always adored a beautifully decorated Evergreen.
"I grew up in Poland, and in Poland, Christmas is the biggest holiday there is," said Bednarek.
Together they are creating an empire of Christmas themed oil paintings.
"And it all stemmed to my own inner child and how he pictured Santa," said Hersberger.
The big guy at the North Pole started to take notice.
"Next thing you know, I'm being friended by hundreds of Santas on Facebook," said Hersberger. "I realized that all of them had my work somewhere in their homes."
When the pandemic began to threaten Santa's busy season, the couple started to worry.
"Because they make their entire year's income in the last three months of the year, and gone," said Hersberger.
Then they started thinking about the kids.
"We have a 5-year-old and I was like, 'wait a minute, I can't take Juliet to see Santa this year,'" said Bednarek. "I said 'Larry, you're the Santa guy, you got to save Christmas.'"
So with the help of their bearded friends, the couple put together a network of 100 professional Santas from five different countries and called it How To Save Christmas.
"Macy's Santa, Disney's Santa, Mall of America Santa, these are the whos who of Santas," said Hersberger.
Families around the world can schedule a Zoom call with the Jolly Old St. Nick of their choice. Every Santa is unique, and every call is different.
There are no green screens and disappearing heads. According to Hersberger, every Santa is in a real live set. At the end of the call, the child's photo will be dropped right next to him, like they were actually there in the workshop.
"We are on a mission to bring joy and hope to those families around the world, not only the children but families," said Bednarek.
How To Save Christmas will also be offering 500 free Zoom calls to children in hospitals. They are looking for sponsors to help provide even more.
Click here for pricing information and to make your own Zoom call with Santa.
This article was written by Robert Boyd for WFTS.