Photos show what Christmas traditions look like in the coronavirus-era, from mall Santas in snow globes to drive-thru light shows

This Christmas will undoubtedly look very different. But people around the world have found some creative ways to celebrate the holiday during a pandemic.

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Children talk to Santa on Zoom on November 27, 2020 in Crantock, England. Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images

Safety measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus are limiting some holiday traditions, like sitting on Santa’s lap at your local mall.

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A mall Santa in Brazil greets a kid from inside a plastic bubble. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

Instead, some mall Santas sat in festive plastic spheres that resemble snow globes.

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Santa Claus inside a plastic bubble greets a child in Brasilia, Brazil. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

Source: The New York Times


In Rio de Janeiro, a Christmas event creatively reused a retired cable car to keep Santa and children safely apart.

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A girl visits a Santa inside an old cable car at Urca Hill in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

Source: Reuters


Inside or out, touching hands through the barrier seemed to replace sitting on Santa’s lap this year.


Even adults took the opportunity to press their hands against Santas’.

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Abilio da Cruz Pinto, 77, dressed as a Santa Claus greets a woman in a shopping mall from behind a plastic barrier in Brasilia, Brazil. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

Also in Brazil, a version of Santa interacted with kids virtually.

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A child interacts by video with ‘Santa Claus Edi Noel’ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

Source: Reuters


While some Santas were behind plastic, others greeted people behind glass. A scuba Santa swam underwater among sea life at an aquarium in Tokyo.

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A diver wearing a Santa costume swims in a large fish tank during an underwater Christmas show at the Sunshine Aquarium in Tokyo, Japan. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Source: Reuters via Insider


Drive-thru holiday shows have replaced some typical Christmas villages and light shows.

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Children look at lights from inside a car at Luminna Fest, a drive-through Christmas light festival in Sao Paulo, Brazil. REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli

Source: The Washington Post


At a drive-thru Christmas village in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, patrons could greet Santa from the comfort of their cars.

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Children greet a person dressed as Santa from inside a vehicle in a drive-thru Christmas village in Mexico. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

Source: Reuters


Starlight Lane, a drive-thru Christmas show in Seattle, took place in a parking garage where patrons tune into a radio station for synchronised music.

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A vehicle moves through Starlight Lane in Seattle, Washington. David Ryder/Getty Images

Source: Starlight Lane


Instead of knocking on your door, carollers in Milton Keynes, Britain, sang at a drive-in carol service organised by a local church.

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People sing during a drive-in carol service organised by the Watling Valley Churches. REUTERS/Andrew Boyers

Source: Reuters


At a retirement home outside of Paris, workers performed outside while residents watched through a large window.

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Residents watch medical workers perform during a Christmas party at Le Gatinais Korian, a retirement home. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Source: Reuters


Christmas meals out are much more private this year at a Ritz-Carlton in Moscow, where guests dine in private rooftop pods.

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A waiter sets a table inside a transparent pod for private Christmas meals. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Source: Reuters


The holiday office party looked different this year, too. But one company that makes mini-scenes constructed a holiday party scene to celebrate its employees.

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View of a reconstructed Christmas party in the miniature wonderland. Daniel Bockwoldt/picture alliance via Getty Images

Source: Miniatur Wunderland/Youtube


The operators of Wonderland used a 3D-printer to help recreate the holiday party, calling it the “smallest Christmas party of the world.”

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A model of a Christmas party is seen. Daniel Bockwoldt/picture alliance via Getty Images

Source: Miniatur Wunderland/Youtube


Even the holiday tradition of giving back looked different in 2020. This LA-based non-profit distributed toys to kids in need via a drive-thru event.

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Baby2Baby Co-CEOs Norah Weinstein and Kelly Sawyer at the Holiday Drive-Thru Distribution. Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Baby2Baby

Source: Vanity Fair