Ho, Ho, Oh No! Macy’s Cancels 160-Year Tradition of Hosting Santa Claus

FILE - Santa Claus waves during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Nov. 28, 2019, in New York. Macy's said Santa Claus won't be greeting kids at its flagship New York store this year due to the coronavirus, interrupting a holiday tradition started nearly 160 years ago. However, Macy's said the jolly old man will still appear at the end of the televised Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez, File)

The latest tradition to be cancelled courtesy of COVID-19 is one that’s been around for more than a century and a half. On Friday, Macy’s tradition of hosting Santa Claus in the flagship midtown Manhattan store, changing the plans of more than 250,000 people who annually swing by Santaland during Christmas season.

New York isn’t the only Macy’s that will be sans Santa; he’s not appearing in the Macy’s in Chicago or San Francisco either. Like most everything else in 2020, in order to experience Santa during the pandemic you’ll have to do it virtually, as Macy’s will offer a Santaland experience on its website. Macy’s told the AP, “Moving to a virtual engagement will safely bring the magic of Santa Claus to children of all ages this year.”

The trend across the U.S. is for many of the big malls to have Santa be on-site, as in other years, but social distancing will be practiced to try to ensure everyone’s safety.

Macy’s is having a rough holiday season all around, as the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been cancelled and replaced by a virtual event too.

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