Skyping Santa at the mall

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Joined: 01/06/03
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Skyping Santa at the mall

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.

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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.

Full article here.

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?

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

Nay.

Joined: 03/14/09
Posts: 624

That's really sad.

We don't have that here at all. I wish my kids could go, I can't believe that people who have that tradition would do away with it. It cannot be a money loser, when I went with my 10-month old we lined up for half an hour and all of us were paying cash money for the pictures.

FLSunshineMom's picture
Joined: 06/07/06
Posts: 3859

Nay. It's bad enough that people are seeing each other in person less and less these days because of social media. Now they're neglecting young children? IMO it's an abuse of technology that was meant to be used for circumstances such as military families or long-distance families/friends who can't travel to see each other.

I wonder what motivated them to do it?

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

Bah humbug!

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I think it would be fine if it were a website that the kids could access from their homes. That would be cute (although I can't imagine how congested the web traffic would be, so logistically it might not work). But kids go to see Santa to actually SEE Santa. This is weird and sad.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I think it would be fine if it were a website that the kids could access from their homes. That would be cute (although I can't imagine how congested the web traffic would be, so logistically it might not work). But kids go to see Santa to actually SEE Santa. This is weird and sad.

I remember when my niece & nephew were small, there was a phone number that parents could call & Santa would call the kids back at an arranged time. It was a 900 number or whatever those numbers were where you got a charge for it on your phone bill. It was really cute, but it didn't replace going to *SEE* Santa in the flesh.

Joined: 09/25/02
Posts: 205

I can't remember if the Eaton Centre always has had Santa in person in recent years. It is a huge mall. And really busy. We go there every Christmas and you can barely get through the crowds. And I'd never take my kids to that particular mall to see Santa just due to the crowds.

However having said all that- It's silly. If they did have a Santa in previous years and then this is what they now offer- it's ridiculous. Sounds very scroogey to me.

I just did a quick search and Santa will still be there in person, just not all week long.
http://www.torontoeatoncentre.com/en/custom/Pages/SantaExperience.aspx

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"KelseysMom" wrote:

I just did a quick search and Santa will still be there in person, just not all week long.
http://www.torontoeatoncentre.com/en/custom/Pages/SantaExperience.aspx

That's mentioned in the OP. Santa is there, but he's reading a story to a group of kids, it's not a "sit on his lap" kind of thing.

Joined: 09/25/02
Posts: 205

"Spacers" wrote:

That's mentioned in the OP. Santa is there, but he's reading a story to a group of kids, it's not a "sit on his lap" kind of thing.

Oops. I stopped reading after the first section. But it does say they can still sit on his lap and parents can snap a picture.

Joined: 01/06/03
Posts: 1175

"KelseysMom" wrote:

Oops. I stopped reading after the first section. But it does say they can still sit on his lap and parents can snap a picture.

But that's only for a (likely) very short period of time on Saturdays and Sundays. If other people are anything like me, I avoid the malls with a passion on the weekends at this time of year!! So if I was wanting to take my kids to see Santa, no way would I be making a special trip to the zoo... er, mall... then! Smile Also, in that short period of time, how many kids are going to really get the chance to sit on his knee at storytime? Thousands of kids will miss out. It's not much of a compromise, IMO.