Woman using a laptop computer with an image of Santa Claus on the screen

How Shopping Centers Celebrate a Pandemic-Fueled Holiday

December 1st, 2020

By Jennifer Peterson

Over the past two decades, families from Columbus and across Ohio (and beyond!) have made an annual event of coming to Easton Town Center for a memorable, magical holiday experience. From the nearly 2 million twinkling lights and charming seasonal decor, to enchanting carriage rides, a 56-foot tall tree and more, the holiday season is a big reason Easton was named the #1 retail center experience in America in 2019.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our holiday celebrations look a little different in 2020—a fact that is best exemplified by the rethinking of our Santa Experience.

Santa has Gone Virtual
The Santa Experience at Easton Town Center is one of our most popular holiday traditions, with families coming every year to see their special Santa. Parents and grandparents have delighted to see their children and grandchildren’s faces light up as they chat with Jolly Old Saint Nick, in the beautiful and festive Santaland area, and pose for a frame-worthy photo.

Rather than cancel Santa’s visit entirely, Easton Town Center shifted the entire experience online. For the cost of a typical photo in person, families can now get a uniquely-personalized, downloadable 30- to 60-second video from Easton’s own Santa, straight from the North Pole. Sent right to their email inbox, the videos can easily be shared with other family members, and re-watched with glee throughout the season.

This contactless video message ensures that both Santa and the people that visit him stay safe and healthy during this time of physical distancing. It also eliminates the lines, and allows Santa to share more personal facts about the child and their wishes, creating a keepsake for them to cherish for years to come. All proceeds benefit the Easton Community Foundation.

Have a Healthy Holiday
Despite these challenging times, Easton Town Center’s steadfast commitment to health & safety have allowed us to continue many familiar holiday traditions, albeit with new measures in place. Carriage rides are back with updated protocols, and our dazzling decor has made a return.

What’s more, holiday shopping is more convenient than ever with the adoption of new, technology-fueled offerings that allow consumers to shop safer—including a same-day home delivery gifting option, and digital lines for stores to prevent gatherings of people.

There’s still so much to enjoy and to explore this holiday, and it can all be done in a safe and responsible way at Easton Town Center.

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