I know we're still weeks away from Halloween, but is it ever too early to start planning for Christmas?

Department stores, shopping malls, and small towns all across America are in a bit of a bind this year trying to figure out how to handle Santa's impending arrival with the COVID-19 pandemic still front page news. Some of them are coming up with some rather creative ideas.

According to a television station in Philadelphia the age old - and sometimes traumatic - practice of children sitting on Santa's lap and whispering their deepest Christmas wishes in his ear are simply out of the question.

Some are toying with the idea of separating Santa from the kiddos with giant sheets of plexiglass. Kinda like the vice presidential debate.

Others are considering shrouding Santa in a giant snow globe. If done well that could actually be interesting. You could let the kids talk to him via a special telephone right there on the spot. No, you couldn't because one kid with coronavirus on his or her breath could contaminate the handset and infect the whole bunch of them. I suppose they could use their parent's cell phone and share their Christmas list that way.

Another idea is to place Santa behind a giant picture frame, somewhat like a drive-up window. It would automatically create that six foot distance barrier, and after their conversation the children could turn back toward their parents and pose for a photo op with the big guy.

There's always the 'get Santa on Zoom' possibility. It's not the same as being there but then these are unusual times.

One thing's for certain, there won't be a lot of kids sitting on Santa's lap this year. And if you've ever been the parent of a two-year-old who's screaming in fear as a stranger with a bright red suit and fake beard tries to calm them down for a picture, you may think that's not really such a bad thing.