Socially distant Santa Claus still coming to town in New Jersey

MADISON, New Jersey -- You better not pout, because Santa Claus is still coming to town. But with COVID this year, Santa's safe travels won't just require Rudolph's bright nose guiding his sleigh.

The decades-long tradition of St. Nick visiting the town of Madison, New Jersey was kept alive this holiday season through a partnership with the Boxcar app, an integrated commuting company that has repurposed its software to create a COVID-safe Santa experience.

"This year has been totally different than anything else we've done before. We've decided that the best way is to have people make reservations, people wait in their cars and then they come up and speak to me six feet away," said Santa Claus.

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Through the Boxcar app, families can reserve their time slot, avoid long lines, and most importantly, avoid any physical contact with other families.

"Madison has this great Christmas tradition and it would've been a shame to not be able to continue that. We've taken our software and customer base and we've repurposed it," said Joe Colangelo, CEO of Boxcar.

And for families who remain hesitant and prefer not to visit Santa in person, the Boxcar app allows them to reserve an appointment and meet Santa virtually through FaceTime or Google Duo.

"Everybody looks forward to this. I don't know what would've happened if we stopped it," said Carmine Toto Jr., a member of the Madison Christmas Committee.

The response, which has been overwhelming this year, has brought a smile to the hundreds of children and families who look forward to meeting Santa and delivering their wish list every year.


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