Santa Claus will still be at malls across America this year, but children will have to tell them what they want from 6-feet away and behind a pane of plexiglass. Great. Bah humbug.
As is tradition, Saint Nick is being brought back to malls as a holiday attraction, but he’ll be a little less jolly … courtesy of the coronavirus pandemic. Mall Santas this year come with a slew of COVID precautions for his sake and for the families visiting him.
Kids may be required to get a temperature check before approaching Kris Kingle’s chair … and there won’t be any sitting on his lap in 2020. So much for that precious shot of little Tommy crying!
Instead, kids will have to deliver their Christmas lists from a socially distanced location — like behind a transparent barrier like at this Bass Pro Shop in Bridgeport, CT — and maybe while wearing a mask too.
As for getting a photo with Santa … it will still be allowed from a safe distance, and everyone may still be required to put masks on, even though it covers up those cheerful smiles.
Of course, all of the rules will vary from state to state and city to city. Fact is, some malls might be shut down altogether due to surging COVID cases.
But, with a reported 10 million U.S. households going to see the jolly fat man in malls last year, it’s clear he’s good for business and malls don’t want to lose that … so check your local Santa listings.