Meet Santazzy — the Winnipeg comedian who's helping Santa go virtual this Christmas

The holiday season this year sure looks a bit different than usual. But hey, Santa isn’t going anywhere.

The holiday season this year sure looks a bit different than usual. But hey, Santa isn’t going anywhere.

Tazz at Winnipeg Comedy Festival in 2014. (CBC Comedy)

Santa has joined the video chat.

Big Daddy Tazz, a comedian and motivational speaker based in Winnipeg, is bringing Santa to children's homes through FaceTime visits. 

For many Canadian families, one of the classic holiday activities is to get a picture with Santa for the children (even though some of them will be terrified and cry out loud in Santa's lap).

This year, however, the last thing parents want is to have their children sit on some stranger (sorry, Santa) in a crowded mall. And that's why Tazz came up with the idea of virtual Santa visits.

"Remember when we were kids, way back when we would write a letter to Santa and that would be it," Tazz said in his chat with Marcy Markusa on CBC Information Radio.

Tazz has also appeared in CBC programs like Laugh Out Loud, The Debaters and Winnipeg Comedy Festival Eh Material.

"With COVID and stuff Santa of course knows everything. And of course the parents know just as much as Santa does, so they sort of chat back and forth."

Since Tazz first introduced this initiative on Facebook in November, he said there has been an incredible amount of interest and the requests have been almost overwhelming. 

Fortunately, Santa always has some helpers.

"I have an elf. Carmen is helping myself and Santa to make sure that we get all the bookings correctly and get all the times correctly," Tazz said.

"It's just about making the visit with Santa possible for the kids."

This is not the first quarantine project Tazz created for kids. Since March, he has been reading books live to children via Facebook almost everyday. 

Tazz reading to kids on Facebook Live. (Big Daddy Tazz)

Tazz's goal for the "Tazz Reads" series was to keep children engaged and entertained when Manitoba first closed its schools due the pandemic.   

Now taking on a bigger mission, Tazz will be transforming into his holiday alter-ego Santazzy. And he has some messages to deliver from Santa for the kids.

"He said he's very proud of the efforts that all the children are making to keep the adults in line, wearing masks and things like that," said Tazz.

"He [is] very proud when he looks out and sees all the children helping each other."

What about the children who got a little sad or angry that they couldn't play with their friends and weren't at their best behaviour this year?

Tazz said Santa understands how hard the past few months have been, especially for the little ones, and the adults need to be there to give them some extra support.

"If the children are feeling sad or feeling overwhelmed or feeling stressed, [they should] talk to their caregivers and their parents and their brothers and their sisters about how they're feeling."

Tazz, for one, is ready to embrace Santazzy this holiday season and continue bringing "the magical being of Christmas" spirit for the children.