The New York Post, which has had the privilege of using the phrase "war on Christmas" in headlines at least five times since the beginning of November, just added a new data point to its long-running thesis that the world has been conducting philosophical air strikes against the spirit of December 25 in an effort to vanquish the holiday spirit from this Earth, Terminator-style. The offender this time is the fancy Tribeca mall Brookfield Place, which is hosting a high-tech light installation in the place where "Santa’s Winter Wonderland" is usually hosted.
Instead, according to the Post, "his quarters are a barren landscape, with a lone white plastic chair for Santa and only a few, scrawny fake ‘trees’ that look worse than Charlie Brown’s." The overall effect — the aesthetic is perhaps best summed up as "Willy Wonka’s Doctor’s Office in Space" (the Post prefers "prison-like") — is not particularly conducive to the nostalgia fracking that is an annual ritual for parents taking their kids to mall Santas. It was very easy for the Post to find people to complain about the bland décor. One parent said it was "lame"; another said their kid was definitely "not taking a picture with a Santa like that." One nanny said, "It doesn’t look like Christmas. Stick to tradition!” It was not clear if these offended people knew there were dozens of other nearby Santas they could have visited instead.
Santa, who is from Dubuque, Iowa, told the Post he didn’t think the kids really cared.
Brookfield Place wrote on its website that it understands ”that the new location and look of the photos has disappointed some of our community, and as we take our customers’ concerns very seriously, we are using this opportunity to make Santa’s Winter Wonderland more in line with what has been requested and valued.”
Tune in this weekend for the next episode of the war on Christmas, when hundreds of vomiting Santas leave Williamsburg residents wondering if the transplants from the North Pole mean that Brooklyn is finally over.