Santa Claus will be taking a leave of absence this year at Macy’s.
According to the Associated Press, Macy’s is breaking its 159-year tradition by canceling Santa Claus’s appearance due to the coronavirus. Macy’s released a statement saying, “More than a quarter of a million people come to see Santa at Macy’s in New York each year making it hard to create a safe environment during a pandemic.” Santaland, as Macy’s calls it, will also be canceled, including the elves, toy trains, and maze of Christmas trees.
The company’s also pushing pause on Santa’s appearance at its Chicago and San Francisco stores.
The silver-lining – jolly ol’ Saint Nicholas will be sticking true to this tradition and will be closing out the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had planned on canceling the parade earlier this year, but Macy’s is shifting it to a “TV only” experience.
Macy’s is making the pivot again with the holiday traditions. To make up for Santa’s in-store absence, the retail store is offering a free virtual experience on its website. Families can interact with Santa, take selfies, play games, and still experience Santaland from home.
Macy’s has been calling itself “The Home of Santa Claus” for decades. This comes after the company also scaled down its annual fireworks display in order to avoid large gatherings.