Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, but children looking forward to sitting on the jolly elf’s knee this holiday season at the Roosevelt Field Mall on Long Island will have to find him first.
It won’t be easy. They won’t get any help by looking out for the usual telltale signs. There will be no holiday village, no sleigh with eight tiny reindeer, no Santa’s workshop.
Instead, old Saint Nick (and don’t you dare call him that!) will be housed inside an antiseptic-looking white shell that is supposed to resemble a “glacier.”
The reason for taking Santa out of his natural cheery habitat and placing him on a sterile ice floe is to avoid giving offense to grinches, atheists, and other haters of Christmas.
Fortunately, reports the New York Post, Joe and Josephine Q. Public are not taking Santa’s de-Christmatizing sitting down:
The holiday hullabaloo sparked an uproar on Facebook and Twitter Saturday. Meanwhile, a Change.org petition garnered 16,000 signatures in protest of a similar shift in decor at a North Carolina mall owned by Simon Properties, which also operates Roosevelt Field.
Like a herd of spooked reindeer, mall management on Saturday quickly retreated from the politically-correct display.
“Key elements are still being added to the Glacier experience at Roosevelt Field over the coming week — and after hearing early customer feedback,” … the mall said.
One of those elements, the Post reports, will be a traditional Christmas tree, which originally was not part of the plan. And while the air will be astir with the sound of sleigh bells, don’t expect any Christmas carols.
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