A Vancouver man with an uncanny resemblance to Santa Claus is recording video messages for kids this holiday season with all proceeds going to charity.
Dave Maranda has been growing his beard since the summer, and now he’s donning a red cap and sitting down in a custom shed he built himself to give kids some personalized face time with St. Nick.
“Everyone was making the comments that oh, you look like Santa. And then we thought it could be a really fun opportunity just to give back and to have some fun,” Maranda told Daily Hive.
Parents can get get a three-minute pre-recorded video message for $19.99, or schedule a live Zoom meeting with Santa for $24.99. People can also gift a message from Santa to a child in need for $24.99.
Families fill out a form before the call so Santa can get to know the child he’s greeting. It asks what the children like to do, who their close friends are, and if they have any pets at home. One of Maranda’s go-to’s is to ask which pet at home is the funniest.
“I get such a kick out of it and I feed off of their reactions,” he said.
The money will be donated to Covenant House, BC Cancer, the BC SPCA and Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary. Families can schedule a session by booking online.
Maranda will take the calls from inside a Novella Outdoors shed in the Dunbar neighbourhood. He started the shed company alongside wife Colleen (Mrs. Claus) with friends Laural James and Angelito Camaclang of Novell Design Build during COVID-19 as a way for people to take advantage of space in their backyards.
The sheds range from 60 to 100 square feet and include electrical outlets, lighting, heating, and a built-in desk. Customers often use them as work-from home spaces, music studios, yoga rooms, or regular sheds.
“It’s just getting away from the kitchen table. So you could actually have a calm, peaceful place to go without disrupting the family,” he said.
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