“Zoom” is not the sound of Santa’s sleigh in 2020. It’s among the ways to allow children a form of access to the jolly big man, but the cost can run into the ho-ho-hundreds of dollars.
Obviously, mall visits to Santa this month are not always available or feasible, but resourceful parents are turning to Zoom calls to satisfy the seasonal tradition.
The video options range in experiences, including personalized versions, with kids’ names and what they want for Christmas during one-on-one recognition, for prices exceeding $700 – or a group availability including commemorative photos for a reasonable $10 to $60.
Parents and businesses are doing whatever they can in an unprecedented, challenging year.
Macy’s stores aren’t an option in 2020. Even at its iconic New York City store, the chain is ending an annual holiday-season tradition that began in 1861.
“To replicate the magical experience of visiting Macy’s Santaland for children and their families, we will shift to a virtual engagement this year,” Susan Tercero, Macy’s vice president of branded entertainment, said in a press release last month.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Zoom Santa Claus, with options from some services including recordings that can be shared with family members.
In a USA Today story, some customers found the option reassuring.
“This year for sure it’s a better option – there is nothing normal in 2020,” said Jeff Mack, 56, of Mooresville, North Carolina, whose 6-year-old daughter had a video scheduled with Santa on Dec. 13. “It allows her to see Santa in a safe environment.”
His daughter’s two cousins, who live about an hour and a half away, will also join the Zoom call, making it a family experience, he added. “This year, she will have, I think, a richer experience with the visit with Santa,” he said.