Demand is also going up, as many have ‘a need and a want for a little bit of magic,’ one person said

Downtown Crystal Lake has more than a dozen Santa Claus meet-and-greets to staff this holiday season, but so far is struggling to fill the shifts.

To help fix the problem, the nonprofit hired a Santa Claus broker, but when that was too expensive for their budget, officials started approaching men in public who could pass as Santa, Executive Director Lynn Reckamp said.