Roosevelt Field mall adding Christmas tree after ‘Glacier’ Santa gets icy reaction from some on LI
THE TREE IS BACK.. WTG ..
Facing a backlash fanned by social media, a Long Island shopping mall has put the Christmas tree back in its Santa display. Roosevelt Field unveiled a new photo backdrop last week, featuring a sparkling faux glacier that projects glittering lights. Juzwa-Rudin, 25, said she read about a similar controversy at a Simon mall in Charlotte, North Carolina, and decided to take action.
Roosevelt Field Mall has added this Christmas tree to their Santa photo display. (Credit: Debra Huber Hansen)
But the absence of a traditional holiday tree upset some shoppers, who complained to Simon Property Group, the Garden City mall’s owner and operator.
Juzwa-Rudin, 25, said she read about a similar controversy at a Simon mall in Charlotte, North Carolina, and decided to take action.
She hadn’t seen the glacier display for herself, but said: “If you go and see a big plastic structure instead of the tree with lights, there’s a change in mood.”
The agitation online reached a fever pitch by early afternoon. Some protesters accused the company of being “anti-Christmas” or “too politically correct.” Others threatened to shop elsewhere.
Simon responded by announcing the return of the tree.
“Key elements are still being added to the Glacier experience at Roosevelt Field over the coming week — and after hearing early customer feedback, one of those elements will be a traditional Christmas tree alongside the Glacier experience,” the company said in a statement.
Juzwa-Rudin was pleased with the prompt response. “It’s good that they’re listening to us, and our message is being heard,” she said.
The mall was one of seven Simon shopping centers around the country to unveil the glacier display last week. Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington and Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, which Simon also owns, both have traditional Christmas tree displays.