Santa Claus is absent at Macy’s this year: Here’s why

Macy’s department store’s holiday season tradition seems to be ending this year 2020 as Santa Claus skips this year’s festivities.

In concerns that kids might resist giving Santa Claus space this holiday season, the famous Christmas symbol will not visit Macy’s this year.

It has already been almost 160 years since the tradition has been conducted. And for the first time, the yuletide tradition in the department store will be skipped for safety purposes.

With Santa’s physical absence, the company will instead set up a virtual experience that will allow up to three kids at a time to see the gift-giving holiday icon on a video conference.

It’s more likely that the move will signal a broader trend among retailers and other institutions having traditional Santa performers. And by also considering the history and prestige of Macy’s Santa Claus.

The virtual Santa Claus

Despite this first move of Macy’s, still, there are already malls that are planning to have their own in-person Santa Claus visits. The locations of the said malls will determine how the activity will work.

According to Susan Tercero, the vice president of Macy’s Branded Entertainment, as reported by CNN,

 “we will shift to a virtual engagement this year. This is To replicate the magical experience of visiting Macy’s Santaland for children and their families.”

Scheduled from November 27 through December 24, the virtual experience will take place online.

According to the CNN piece, it will be more than just a visit to tell Santa what kids want, with an “experience” that starts with elves and winds its way through Santa’s village and workshop.

This year will see selfies with the jolly old elf instead of photos with Santa have as a moneymaker. Per Macy’s, families can download the images immediately. If the downloads will be free or not, the information is not entirely clear.

Macy’s new restrictions

A reduced-capacity was also recently announced by Macy’s. Also, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be mostly-virtual, which marks the first time in generations that the parade won’t wind through crowded Manhattan streets. Santa, in its COVID-19-friendly form, will join the parade.

Currently, the headquarter of Macy’s is located in New York, and it is one of the newest cities which is badly hit by COVID-19.

However, the city has bounced back by modeling its pandemic response despite its dense population.

Image courtesy of lev radin/Shutterstock

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