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Claire Stinger, Editor

As the holiday season begins, there has to be a lot of changes to keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Black Friday shopping, for most stores, is solely online, family gatherings have to be limited, and some are unable to see elderly family members. However, one tradition remains the same through the pandemic: Santa Claus is still coming to town. 

    Malls across the country are still allowing families to come to take a photo with Santa, although there are procedures that have to be followed. Some stores are allowing there to be socially distanced photos, and some are using plexiglass to separate the families and Santa from each other.  Another precaution that they are taking is wearing face masks or face shields in photos. Some locations are taking the wearing of masks a step further and selling holiday-themed face masks and shields for those taking photos with Santa, and in some photos, Santa himself will be wearing a mask.

    One store is continuing the tradition in a much different way. Macy’s stores are breaking their tradition of in-person visits with Santa, which has lasted since the 1860s, to do a virtual pandemic friendly Santa visit. They will be holding several online events where people can “visit” the North Pole, and be toured around by elves. In the end, the children will have the opportunity to take a photo with Santa, which can be downloaded and saved. This experience is called Santa Land and will be available from November 27 all the way up until Christmas Eve. 

    Santa will also be taking to social media in an attempt to still connect with those who wish to tell him their wishlist. Macy’s social media will have Santa tweeting and interacting with his “fans” to keep the Christmas spirit alive. 

    While those who come to see Santa will not be able to physically touch Santa or sit on Santa’s lap, this is an attempt to keep some normalcy amidst the uncertainty of this time we are in. The parents, workers, and Santa Claus are all working together to maintain this normalcy in the best way they can.