The Eaton Centre in Toronto has decided to NOT have Santa at the mall for children to visit and instead children going to see him will be able to Skype with him.
Visiting the mall to meet Santa Claus and sit on his knee is a Christmas tradition as old as eggnog and as timeless as mistletoe – one that has given children a tangible connection to the Yuletide mystery man for generations.
But with a famed Toronto shopping mall doing away with the tradition in favour of a more web-savvy Saint Nick, some fear the rush to innovate will disconnect the Christmas mythology from the traditions of their childhood.
After a century of offering downtown Toronto children a chance to meet Santa in person, the Toronto Eaton Centre has closed Santa's Village. It will instead embrace the Internet and social media by giving children a chance to video chat with Santa Claus from his workshop at the North Pole.
The Eaton Centre launched its modernized Christmas tradition in late November, offering children across Canada free 10-minute sessions through Skype – a web-based video conferencing platform – every weeknight between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
For those who desire a touch of tradition, the Eaton Centre is offering a storybook session every weekend morning, where children can gather and listen as Santa reads a Christmas book. Vlitas, the Eaton Centre spokesperson, says the storebook session still gives children the chance to sit on Santa's lap for a photograph.
For many children going to visit Santa at the mall and sit on his knee is something they excitedly look forward to. I know this is an age/time with all kinds of technology/etc. but don't you think some parts about Santa should be timeless and unchanging? I can see how a child may think it's cool to talk to Santa at the North Pole, but I think sitting on his knee is something many of them also look forward to. I don't know, to almost totally take away that tradition just seems... a little "grinch-ish" or something. Couldn't they come up with a compromise or something... have the Skyping option for the times Santa's not there and the sign says he's "feeding the reindeer, will be back at...." ?
What do you think? Yay or nay on skyping Santa vs sitting on his knee?