Kids Asking For Less In Recession – Kids have been asking Santa Claus for less items this year for the Christmas tree due to the economic recession. Even during the bad times — good things do happen. Most of the children are asking for things like a job for their mom or dad, money for the heating bill, food, and a place they call “home.”
Store Santa’s are saying more and more the children sitting on their laps are asking for less, and Santa is promising less as well.
With unemployment stubbornly high, more homes in foreclosure and the economic outlook dim, many children who visit Santa are all too aware of the struggle to make ends meet.
“These children understand the conditions around the home when they ask for stuff,” said Richard Holden, a 69-year-old Santa from Gastonia, N.C. “They understand when there are other children in the family, they need to be cautious or thoughtful of them as well and not ask for 10 to 12 items.”
Cliff Snider, who’s been playing Santa since he was a teenager, agrees.
“I think the parents are saying, ‘It’s an economic thing. Just list two to three things you really want to have,'” he said. “Parents are trying to encourage the children to be thrifty.”
And the 64-year-old Snider does his best to help out. When he gets a big-ticket request, he typically responds: “There’s an awful lot of children asking for that this year. What else do you want?”
At the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School, Santas learn lines like, “Wow, that’s a big gift. Is there anything else you might like?”
Starlight Fonseca has been teaching her five children, ages 5 to 14, “that we’re not the only ones who have to cut things back. We’re not the only ones struggling.”
The 31-year-old mother and her husband, Jose, had been relying on a stipend from the University of Texas law school that Fonseca lost when an illness made it impossible for her to keep her grades up. She’d hoped to graduate in May but was unable to attend school this semester and can’t get student loans due to poor credit.
Fonseca tells her kids that “to make it fair for everyone, Santa has to cut back for everyone. … We paint it in a way that Santa is doing the best he can to make everybody happy at Christmas.”