Santa Claus isn’t coming to Vernon’s Village Green Shopping Centre this year. Instead, he’s appearing in video form on the devices of more than 1,000 Okanagan children.
The Vernon mall had planned to hold contactless visits with Santa starting Nov. 28, but those plans were cancelled by COVID-19 restrictions set out by the provincial health officer just days before.
“At the time of cancellation, we had 234 confirmed bookings to see Santa in a socially-distanced, no contact interactive and personalized meeting,” said Darren Robinson, marketing manager for the Village Green Centre.
“Parents were asked to provide us with some specific information about their child so that Santa was prepared for the meeting; things like a pet’s name, or a favourite movie, etc.”
The centre pivoted towards making personalized video greetings from Santa for each of the 234 bookings. After three days of filming, more than 1,000 kids received videos addressed to them by Saint Nick. The Village Green Shopping Centre provided an example video clip of Santa fulfilling the Christmas wishes of some local youths who made the ‘nice’ list this year.