Harris Co. EMA director doubles as Santa during the holidays amid national shortage

Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 7:00 AM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A nationwide shortage is not stopping one local official in our area from suiting up and spreading a little holiday cheer.

Monty Davis says this time of year he’s busy running the emergency management agency in Harris County, but when he takes that hat off, he picks up a red and white one that comes with a suit.

“Christmas has always been one of my favorite holidays and being able to grow a beard and just seeing my children react with Santa is when they grew up - it’s just the joy that it brings children. I just wanted to do that,” Davis said.

Davis does this every year. He said he picks up his red suit suit and grows his beard a little longer to be a Santa for hire on the side during the Christmas holiday season.

“I do mostly home visits,” he said. “I work with a couple of other restaurants. I work with a couple of photographers but mostly home visits. The joy that it brings children is amazing.”

Experts in the Kris Kringle for hire business say professional Santa Clauses are working a little harder this year to pick up the slack and spread a little holiday cheer.

“There’s a tremendous shortage of Santas,” said Mitch Allen, founder of Hire Santa in Texas.

He says the COVID-19 pandemic is the reason why.

”We estimate we are down around 10 or 15% of Santas this year,” Allen said.

Back over in Harris County, Davis says this year it’s more important that ever to keep his five-year tradition of suiting up for the holiday alive.

“Well, I’ll say it keeps hope alive - the innocence, the good times, remembering the good in the world, friendships and community,” said Davis. “It’s out there. People are still caring about each other and loving each other. Santa is apart of that.”

If you would like to book Davis this holiday season, click here.

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