There is a little nervousness in the air. Elianne, 8, sits in front of a television. For the very first time, it is she who occupies the comfortable throne in the kingdom of Santa Claus, at the Galeries Chagnon in Lévis, while the latter meets her from a distance.
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Because we are in 2020, it is by videoconference that the chubby character suddenly appears on the screen. Live from his decorated living room, he makes great signs with his hands.
” How is it going at school ? Is there a lot of snow in your house? Here at the North Pole, there are many, many, many, ”he says to the child, whose eyes light up immediately.
A microphone and a camera allow him to exchange with the happy bearded man. Despite small technical problems quickly resolved, on this first day of animation, the young girl is delighted to meet her and to have been able to share the gift she wants, painting supplies.
“I found him nice and happy. He was happy, ”she says.
“I think it’s a great initiative, then so much the better if we can at least offer that to our children as an alternative,” adds her mother, Amélie Manseau.
On site, elves, who wear protective goggles and a mask, welcome visitors two meters away and are busy cleaning all surfaces between the children.
The activity is free, but parents can purchase a recording for around fifteen dollars. Note that you must first register online on the site connecteparmagie.com, so there is no waiting at the agreed time.
“The kids are used to it, they’ve seen their parents make conference calls and telecommute all year round. I think for them it’s no surprise to see someone on screen. We tried to create something unique and it works well, ”says Kathie Tremblay, president of the Quebec Professional Father Christmas Agency.
Turn on your lights!
For his part, Santa Claus wishes to reassure that “the manufacture of toys is going well” and ” [qu’]there is no COVID-19 at the North Pole ”. For nothing in the world, he would have missed this meeting with the children, he insists.
“In the period we are living, a little joy and light, it feels good, and as M. Labeaume would say, turn on your lights before December 1st, ho! ho !, so that the spirit of Christmas reigns in the province ”, he mentions to the Newspaper.
Remember that it will soon be possible to greet Santa Claus in several other shopping centers, in particular at the Galeries de la Capitale (from November 28, in a virtual form), at Laurier Quebec (from November 28, at the outside), or at the Promenades Beauport (from November 28, in person).
In most cases, you need to book. Other shopping centers are still in the process of thinking and will make announcements soon.