VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — "This year Santa is a little different," says Mall marketing director Mikia Ross.
The beard is still flowing. Santa's mustache curls North toward his hometown, perhaps not coincidentally covered in snow nearly as white as the flakes adorning Santa's temporary residence in Patrick Henry Mall.
From now until December 24th, picture packages start at $19.99, no word on the price of Christmas cheer.
Back to what's a little different about Santa this year. There is a mini guitar. Christmas music dancing off the strings of course.
Then again, that has no specific connection to the year.
2020 has seen a lot of traditions succumb to coronavirus. Interacting with other human beings regularly ranking near the top of that last. The holidays offer a wealth of options for the next annual event to fall, or at least see an adjustment.
As is the case with a visit with Santa, though relatively minor. Photo reservations must be made ahead of time. Temperature is taken before entering the winter wonderland, and there is no lap sitting due to the aforementioned "Santa Guard." The plexiglass separates from those doing the Christmas wishing, until they come around to collect their goodie bag.
As we near our first Christmas under the "new normal", this tradition carries on.