Santa is making his list, checking it twice, and is all ready to rejoice children at Christchurch’s Ballantynes Store.
This year, however, parents and children aged 12 years and older will be required to wear a mask. All staff at Santa’s grotto are required to wear masks too and to be fully vaccinated, including Santa himself.
This year, like last year, children will not be able to touch or sit on Santa’s knee and will instead be seated at the front of Santa’s chair or to the side. Shoppers who enter the store or the Grotto will be required to scan in.
Unfortunately there was no grand opening of Ballantyne’s famous Christmas window in the centre of Christchurch this year due to COVID restrictions on the number of people allowed to gather for an event. Instead, the ten-themed windows “A Sprinkle of Christmas Magic” were quietly revealed.
The windows span a distance of ninety metres over Colombo St and Cashel Mall and masks and vaccines not required to view the window from outside.