Santa is busy at Willowbrook Shopping Centre with five-minute Zoom meetings with children. All the slots are booked up through the holidays. (Willowbrook Shopping Centre/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Santa is busy at Willowbrook Shopping Centre with five-minute Zoom meetings with children. All the slots are booked up through the holidays. (Willowbrook Shopping Centre/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Langley mall snowed under with requests for virtual visits with Santa

Willowbrook Shopping Centre is using technology so the kids can talk to the Jolly Ol’ Elf

Youngsters are keeping Santa pretty busy so far in the Christmas season.

Willowbrook Shopping Centre has been unable to hold the traditional Santa’s village with in-person visits by children, pets on certain dates, and even adults wanting to glow in the warmth of the season. So the mall created a free virtual visits, unsure of the public reaction.

The shopping mall management decided to hook up Santa with the technology to connect with local little ones and started taking bookings in November for five-minute Zoom sessions with the big guy in red.

“We had about 1,800 spots,” said Nicole Lotz, Willowbrook marketing director.

• READ MORE: LETTER TO THE EDITOR – Ring those Christmas bells

The campaign has been more popular than they could have imagined. The sessions are booked solid through December, and people are still trying to take part.

“We are probably fielding 15 to 20 inquiries a day,” Lotz said.

The virtual visits with Santa are one initiative this holiday season that could take place at Willowbrook. There’s also the Christmas Advent Calendar which offers discounts, specials, free gift with purchase, draws and more.

Unfortunately several traditional events at the shopping centre cannot go ahead because of the global pandemic.

The mall has had to cancel its gift wrapping for charity due to the coronavirus.

“We had partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Langley,” she explained.

But about a month ago, Willowbrook management decided to err on the side of caution so it would not offer gift wrapping for charity this year.

The virus has caused the cancellation of most of the shopping centre’s community events including live holiday performances, and opportunities for charities and community groups to fundraise in the complex.

.


Got a news tip?

Email: heather.colpitts@langleyadvancetimes.com
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

While most drivers along the stretch of 200th Street near Nicomekl Elementary School in Langley City follow the posted speed limits, a significant number is ignoring the posted limits, data from speed reader boards shows. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Drivers in Langley City are most likely to ignore the speed limit near Nicomekl school

Data from speed reader boards shows speeding is worst on 200th Street between 50th and 53rd Avenues

Garth Dauncey is one of the volunteers working on renovations at a Langley City home for the AOK Extreme Home Repair project. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
AOK home repair could use funding support to aid Langley family

A GoFundMe is looking to raise up to $80,000

Seven-year-old Adam Dadson opened his own plant stand at 24th Ave and 268 Street in Aldergrove. (Val Dadson/Special to The Star)
Seven-year-old Aldergrove entrepreneur opens pop-up plant stand

Adam Dadson sold flowers last weekend to earn enough money to buy his mom a Mother’s Day gift

Calvin Singh, a 17-year-old Aldergrove Secondary student, earned the Jodi Steeves Kindness Scholarship. (Special to The Star)
Aldergrove teen earns Jodi Steeves Kindness Award and the $1,000 that goes with it

Calvin Singh won the scholarship for showing constant kindness and positivity

Langley’s Avery Heppell has been named to Volleyball Canada’s Women’s NextGen National Team. (TWU)
Langley’s Avery Heppell has been named to Volleyball Canada’s Women’s NextGen National Team

Trinity Western University player to attend 10-week training session

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

RCMP. (Black Press File)
Major Crimes called in after two bodies discovered on remote road near Penticton

A manhunt involving a police helicopter took place on May 10

Canada’s Janet Leung steals second base during playoff action at the Softball Americas Olympic Qualifier tournament in South Surrey on August 31, 2019. Leung and her teammates have not been back to Softball City since, as the 2020 and now ‘21 Canada Cup tournaments have been cancelled. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck photo)
Canada Cup softball event cancelled for second straight year

Travel, health concerns cited as reasons for cancellation of popular Lower Mainland event

Boats in the Fraser River launched from Barrowtown and Ft. Langley on May 12 to search for the missing fisherman. (Steve Simpson)
Boats search the Fraser River for missing Abbotsford fisherman

Anyone with ‘a boat, time, or a drone’ to help bring Damian Dutrisac home was asked to help

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Vancouver court on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Defence lawyers call foul as Crown counsel granted access to COVID-19 vaccines

Defence attorneys are pushing the province to extend inoculation access to workers in courtrooms across B.C.

A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Fraser Health still unsure if 333 cases of COVID among students, teachers were acquired in school

88 cases of 267 cases the health authority considers to be school-acquired lead to spread outside of school

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police “E” Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. Indigenous leaders are calling for an investigation into the conduct of Mounties on Vancouver Island after two police shootings of members of a small First Nations community in three months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Indigenous leaders call for clarity, investigation into RCMP after B.C. shooting

The RCMP declined to comment on the requests by Indigenous leaders

Most Read