Are you trying to say that Santa will unfailingly make it to a COVID-19 stricken world? You might be joking! In all likelihood, the pandemic won’t keep Santa Claus away from reminding you about the favorite things that Christmas brings along. Well, that should certainly come as good news. But stay prepared for some bizarre photo sessions. Do not even think of touching Santa or becoming too emotional and hugging him straight.
Shutterbugs must act creatively when it comes to playing click-click with the cameras. Professional photographers will capture images in such perspectives that you might not look like you are miles apart from Santa. Most shopping centers have said that the experience of meeting dear Santa will not lose out on its natural flavor, though! So children will not miss out on the excitement. Amidst such hard times, it is important to maintain at least two meters distance. Or better still, watch via webcam.
The Touchless ‘Santa’ Experience
In another report, Brookfield properties, a subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management (BAM) Property Partners and the second-largest mall operator in the country, has highlighted the importance of the innovative ‘touchless experience’ that Santas will bring along in close to 135 out of 150 malls. Rocell Viniard, the director of portfolio marketing, said how Santa’s arrival marks a very important holiday tradition worldwide. But you cannot compromise on safety, and we agree. So you may have to push aside your dream of sitting on Santa’s lap this year. Sigh!
Brookfield has also made way for a few virtual visits this year with Santa from November 1st. This should come as an appreciable move for those who prefer to stay indoors. After all, it’s better to have something than nothing.
Kids Can Meet Santa Online
Few malls like Carrefour de l’Esrie in Sherbrooke have taken this virtual mode seriously. Children can establish an online connection with Santa Claus there and even express freely about what they would like to have from him at the time of Christmas.
Contrasted to the former, Toronto’s Eaton Centre, managed by Cadillac Fairview and few others, will have online and offline options. So you might think of paying a visit in person there or relax back at home, enjoying a virtual meeting scheduled with Santa.
Malls Need To Follow Directives
Malls need to obey and respect the public health directives, come what may. A marketing professor at the University of Sherbrooke, Deny Belisle, said how malls have been facing tough competition than ever from most online retailers.
Brookfield looks forward to maintaining an air of ease. Rather than getting visitors or even Santa to sign waivers in separate locations where masks are no compulsions, it has brought forward novel ideas. There will be stickers screaming social distancing practices to be followed by people. Few properties with special decors would also be symbolic of people maintaining the mandatory six-foot distance from Santa.
Santa Behind Plexiglass
The Zoom visit option will soon turn another preferred option, as per PREIT, a mall operator who owns 19 malls on the East Coast. His New Jersey and the Pennsylvania based Willow Grove Mall will place Santa right behind the plexiglass. This means they will place a bench where kids can sit and take photos. Visitors must wear masks at the malls, but children can remove so when they capture images with Santa, for ‘he’s behind Plexiglass.’ However, if that barrier fails to work, Zoom visits will allow families to give a recording of their Zoom call that would provide them a prize in the form of a snapshot with Santa.
Santas would come decked in their new avatar. They would also wear a mask in places that strictly abide by the policy of a mask mandate. And if they can do so, guests should also follow suit. For states where the masks are not compulsory, Santa might choose to opt for a mask free look, only if he wants to.
Santas will be visible in most places, but data reveals that more than 30% of them who worked last year won’t be available this holiday season. Most of them fall at a high-risk category since they 65 and above and overweight too. Doing this job at this time is akin to playing with fire.