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Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus (At the Mall This Year)

One might think that taking photos with Santa is the kind of thing that would get nixed in a pandemic, particularly one that has closed schools. Not so, at least in Arlington.

In an early Christmas miracle, Santa is set to arrive at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City later this month, mall owner Simon announced Monday evening.

“Simon is pleased to announce a safe and socially distanced Santa visit for families as part of the Simon Santa Photo Experience at Fashion Centre at Pentagon City,” said a press release. “Santa arrives on November 27, 2020 and will be available for socially distanced visits until Christmas Eve.”

The arrival date — Nov. 27 — is Black Friday, also known as the day after Thanksgiving.

“For everyone’s safety, visiting Santa will be a socially distanced experience,” Simon said — though it’s unclear what exactly that means in practice, given that sitting on the jolly one’s lap is de rigueur for any proper Santa photo.

The mall owner notes that reservations are required to visit with Santa this year, and that “Santa and his helpers will be wearing masks throughout the duration of each visit.”

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