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Silverton Santa safely visiting with kids from his 'Santa Pod'

Since the day after Thanksgiving, Silverton's Santa has sat in a heated plastic tent that allows him to ditch the mask when visiting with kids.

SILVERTON, Ore. — If you’re waiting until the last minute to finish that Christmas shopping, you might want to head to Silverton.

“I would say, this has helped make it as good as any other Christmas,” said a jolly old elf sitting in the courtyard of Finds That Shine in downtown. That’s right, Silverton’s Santa Claus is posted up, still safely visiting with kids before he heads back to the North Pole in a couple days.

“I think it was a great little visit, I'm really thankful,” said mom Amy Gigena, who came with her daughters.

“This is the best Santa we’ve ever seen. The best one I’ve ever seen,” said mom Madisen Ingram.

“We're in here because it's a courtyard, so it's kind of out of everything, but there's still air. So it's better germ-wise, and it kind of feels like magic here. This feels a little bit like Santa's workshop,” Santa said.

Credit: Jon Goodwin, KGW

Since the day after Thanksgiving, Santa has been providing some modified magic for kids and parents alike, from the comfort of his very own “Santa Pod.” It’s a plastic bubble-type set up that allows him to safely lose the mask and still interact with kids.

“At first they see it, and then it disappears,” Santa said about the plastic divider. “And we can just talk, especially when they're right here, and I can really get close and tell them some of the secrets of Christmas, because there are a lot.”

No matter what your favorite part about Christmas is, Santa reminds you that there’s some comfort and joy around the corner.

“Do whatever you can to keep the tradition going and keep your hearts full, and just get through the day and make it festive and fun. The best way you can, with all you can,” Gigena said.

“I want to say Merry Christmas, and I hope this is the happiest Christmas of your whole life, and that you make it happy for somebody else,” Santa said.

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