HGTV's 'Surprising Santa Claus': How Lara Spencer and crew braved COVID-19 to make Indiana town's dream come true

Since HGTV greenlit the special holiday series in November, the show was filmed around that time


                            HGTV's 'Surprising Santa Claus': How Lara Spencer and crew braved COVID-19 to make Indiana town's dream come true
Lara Spencer (HGTV)

Santa Claus, a quaint little town in Indiana, received a huge Christmas surprise thanks to HGTV. The town is known for its beautiful Santa Claus-themed museum and post office. Every year, the town receives several letters from children across the country addressed to Santa Claus. While the town has always given away presents to children, this time around HGTV gave two families residing in the town a surprise home renovation present, and also installed a huge Christmas tree at the town's center so that the residents can celebrate the holidays all year-long.

The show's host Lara Spencer and her team of designers and renovation experts headed to the homes of the two lucky families and got each of their renovation wish lists. The catch was that the entire renovation work needed to be completed before Christmas. When the construction workers got down to do the extensive renovation work for each of the homes, there was a small animated timer that showed the number of days left for them to complete the project before Christmas.

This left many wondering when the show was filmed. The show was filmed during the Covid-19 pandemic in Santa Claus, although none of the cast members wore the face masks, they, however, did maintain some social distance. According to Associated Press, over 100 families applied for a chance to get their home renovated by the HGTV experts, but in the end, only two families were selected. 

Lara Spencer surprises a family with home renovation (HGTV)

“I can say that I’m excited about what’s coming — about their gift to the town. I think it will be a great asset that many people will get to enjoy,” Melissa Arnold, executive director of the Spencer County Visitors Bureau, shared in a statement. Arnold also told AP that through the HGTV holiday special program the Christmas-themed town was hoping to see a spike in the number of visitors once the pandemic situation gets better. 

HGTV described the show as, "Good Morning America contributor Lara Spencer, along with a team of designers, contractors and volunteers, will race against the clock to give the town of Santa Claus, Indiana, the biggest Christmas present its ever received: two surprise home renovations and a town square makeover that will spread holiday cheer to the whole community."

'Surprising Santa Claus' premieres on December 25, at 9/8c only on HGTV. 

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