MESA, Ariz. - Pandemic induced changes to Christmas parties are to be a sure thing during this holiday season.
With a visit from Santa being a staple at many of these holiday parties, one local woman who dresses them up is afraid her Christmas season will look a lot like her Halloween season.
"We're going to see a lot of Santas with masks this year."
The owner of Fun Costumes in Mesa is hoping mask or no mask that Santa will still need a fresh suit.
Every year, Angie Ott outfits Santa and his helpers. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, this season hasn't been too jolly.
"Most of my month would be booked by now because I usually book about a month in advance and try to squeeze in the last people. I’m usually ordering more suits to revamp my rental stock, but this year, I’m not having to buy any more rental suits," she said.
Ott assumes because large parties are a no-go this year, people are adjusting.
"What I'm not seeing is big corporations. They usually do big parties for their employees. I'm not seeing a lot of those Santas come in. I'm seeing more families who want to visit the kids and want to have pictures with Santa."
After a not so stellar Halloween season, Ott says if this Christmas season declines any further, her 24-year run in the costume business will be coming to an end.
"October, November, December usually make my year. If I don't do it then, then I go into my slow season and that's when it will be hard," she said. "If COVID hits anymore and they close us down for any reason, I don't know that I will be here anymore. I don't know if I can afford to stay in business."