Although the Exton Square Mall May Be Dying, the Spirit of Santa Claus Lives On

Santa Claus Exton Mall
Image via Exton Square Mall.
Santa Claus at the Exton Mall.

While malls might slowly be dying, visiting Santa Claus each winter is one of the traditions that still keeps the holiday spirit thriving in places like the Exton Square Mall, writes Alexandra Lange for Bloomberg.

The first department store Santa appeared in Massachusetts in 1890 and has evolved over the decades to be the jolly-making, red-suited individual we know today.

After years of setbacks from COVID-19, Santa has finally returned to the mall. Although smaller regional malls like Exton are slowly becoming less popular, Santa has kept up with the changing times to bring joy to believers in Chester County and beyond.

Even when the mall is ready to go, writes Lange, Santa is the last one standing. At Exton, Santa’s nostalgic North Court is decked out with its familiar green chair and little red house. Never mind shuttered entrances, empty stores, and old-school displays that still linger.

There are many families and grandparents who have been taking their kids to see Santa for years. And they are not letting the liminal emptiness stop their tradition until the mall is long gone.

If you’re in the mood to nurture the Christmas spirit at the Exton Square Mall, pictures with Santa Claus are available until Dec. 24.

Read more about the phenomenon of Santa and the mall in Bloomberg.

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