Photo contributed
Vintage Faire Mall continues their holiday traditions with ‘Santa HQ,’ brought to the area through a partnership with HGTV.

The big man with the long white beard and the jolly laugh has set up camp at the Vintage Faire Mall in Modesto and along with him are a bevy of events for the holiday season aimed at bringing in shoppers.

Even in an age when online shopping is gaining traction, the Vintage Faire Mall remains a steady draw for shoppers, partly by creating a destination, rather than just a place to shop. Each year the mall hosts an average of 9 million shoppers, with 30 percent of that number coming during the holiday season, said Marketing Manager Annie Amies.

“People have more ways to shop than ever before,” Amies said. “Top-performing shopping centers, like Vintage Faire, continue to be magnets for people, for ideas, for great experiences and great brands, as well as community gathering places.

“Macerich shopping centers are succeeding because they are preferred places for shoppers, and the fact is they are in high demand for retailers — even as online shopping increases,” Amies said. “Many new and emerging digitally native and store-based concepts are choosing our proven locations for their first locations or expanding brick-and-mortar presence precisely because they want to connect with our shoppers. People also love to get together and interact in social settings and successful retailers understand this. People want to be able to touch, feel and try new merchandise in ways they can’t online. Not to mention how they can be a part of something local, engaging and fun within our community with our events and nonprofit partnerships.”

Vintage Faire Mall, in partnership with HGTV, is hosting the North Pole’s most prominent resident at ‘Santa HQ.’ Families are encouraged to partake in an interactive, digital experience at Santa’s workshop now through Christmas Eve.

Guests will be engaged during their visit with Santa due to Santa HQ’s incorporation of an augmented reality environment and captivating social media experience. Upon entering Santa HQ, kids will learn if they are on Santa’s naughty or nice list after being “scanned” at the Naughty or Nice O’Meter and spend time at an observatory to catch a glimpse of Santa’s remarkable world through special tablets. Visitors will also be able to take an “Elfie” (a photo opportunity as a dancing elf) and much more.

Shoppers also are invited to participate in Help Through Holiday Giving by donating an unwrapped gift at the Donation Station located at Santa HQ. All gifts will be used to fulfill Christmas wishes for local community children on the Soroptomist Community Christmas Tree, located on level two, next to Forever 21.

For those shoppers who find the perfect gift, but are dreading the thought of attempting to wrap it up neat and pretty, Vintage Faire Mall has provided an option. During the month of December, nonprofit partner, Camp Taylor, will provide gift wrapping services with donations going to support their medically supported camp for children diagnosed with heart diseases. The gift wrapping station is located across from Fred Meyers Jewelry.

To add to the festive nature, Vintage Faire Mall is hosting local churches, schools and community groups, who will share their talents and holiday spirit by performing at the mall.

“There’s no better place to come together to enjoy real-world experiences than the beautiful and engaging environment that we try to create for our shoppers and community – especially at the holidays. We’re part of what the holidays and holiday traditions are all about,” Amies said.