After a year away, Santa is back in town posing for pictures, listening to wish lists

After COVID-19 put a damper on children seeing Santa Claus last year, the big guy is back at Bay Area stores and ready to visit with kids in person.

For Denise Shank and her sons, Anakin and Jonah, seeing St. Nick an annual tradition.

"We have to get our yearly Santa pictures," said Shank. "We come every year to get the pictures."

For Beth Biotti, the annual trip to see Santa is special this year. Her daughter Ella wasn’t able to talk with the big guy last year due to the pandemic, so she was extra excited for a visit.  

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"(We are) hoping that we are getting a little bit back to some normalcy," Biotti shared. "It's just great for the holidays for the kids to be able to see Santa and have something to be thankful and grateful for."

Santa's helpers are in several Bay Area stores and they help St. Nick keep up with his "Nice List."

While their children shared their Christmas wishes with Santa, the parents smiled as the visit symbolized a comfortable Christmas tradition back in place.

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As the kids asked for toys and gifts under the tree, their moms had something less tangible they wished for.

Shank said, "Honestly, I feel like I have everything. I just want a nice family celebration and everybody to be happy."

Biotti shared that sentiment with her wish, "Peace and harmony with the world and everyone to have a happy, healthy New Year."

LINK: For information on times to visit Santa at a Westfield Mall, visit


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