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Mississauga is having virtual visits with Santa in lieu of Santa Claus Parade

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Children can visit Santa Claus virtually, have a FREE photo taken with him & receive personal letter in the mail

While there may be no Mississauga Santa Claus Parade this year, they have not given up on Christmas! No way! The Mississauga News, Erin Mills Auto Centre and several community partners have combined forces to create a unique and memorable experience where families can visit Santa virtually on a special Santa Zoom call.

The virtual visits will be available from December 12 to 24, 2020 with registration required.

This one-on-one virtual visit gives children the opportunity to see and chat with Jolly Old Saint Nick and to let him know what they want for Christmas. When you register your child for the Zoom call, there is even an option to have your child’s photo taken with Santa, thanks to the magic of Adobe Photoshop. And after the virtual visit, every child will receive a personalised letter from Santa in the mail!

“To add a little extra sparkle to the holiday season this year, this experience is completely free of charge!” says Gautam Sharma, advertising director of The Mississauga News. “As a community newspaper, we are proud to present this special joy in conjunction with Erin Mills Auto Centre and other partners. This is our way of doing our best to keep the joy and magic of Christmas alive this holiday season.”

P.J. Caletti of Erin Mills Auto Centre adds: “There’s a little kid inside of me that always wants to keep the bells of Christmas spirit ringing! It is especially important to spread a message of hope this year and we could not do it without Santa! We had to come up with a way to bring Santa to our community yet keep him and everyone else safe. The virtual visits are a natural choice whereby kids can still talk to Santa and tell them what they want for Christmas yet maintain social distancing.”

The Catholic Teacher’s Union in Dufferin Peel are excited to be a partner of the Virtual Santa Visits community program.

“As teachers in elementary and secondary Catholic schools in Dufferin-Peel, we know how this year has impacted our students, and so we are thrilled to support this unique opportunity to bring them some joy through the creative Virtual Santa Visit program,” says Maria De Berardinis, President of the Dufferin Peel Secondary Unit of the Ontario English Catholic Teacher’s Association. “We will encourage participation in the Santa Zoom virtual visits, especially this year when we’ve had fewer opportunities to participate in traditional celebrations. The Santa calls will help fill in the gaps and spread joy to children throughout Peel Region.”

As parents of three young children, Laddie and Garry Rai, owners of Zumin Real Estate Centre and Zumin Kitchen and Bath, understand the importance of ‘the magic of Christmas’ this year for their children, as well as for other children.

“We are delighted to be a partner in the Virtual Santa Visits initiative,” says Laddie Rai. “We have three children, ages six, four and three, and our kids don’t quite understand why we aren’t going to the mall to visit Santa this year or why we are not attending holiday events, but now they are excited about being able to talk to Santa on a Zoom call, take a virtual picture and get a letter from him.

“In November we did a Christmas photo outdoors and suddenly Santa showed up and surprised them. You should have seen the look of joy on the kids’ faces! If we can bring that kind of joy to children through the Virtual Santa Visits, we are doing our part to bring a sense of normality, and the magic and happiness of Christmas to children and adults in our community. Christmas is important to us, albeit things may be a little different this year, but visiting Santa on Zoom is just super cool and so 2020!”

To register your child for the virtual visit with Santa, visit www.santavisitsmississauga.com.

by Laurie Wallace-Lynch

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