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A day with Father Christmas - Kisia Cove
Saturday December 6, 2008 - Email this article to a friend

8-year-old Max headed off to Finland with his Mum for a day trip to meet Santa. But would the magic hold?

“Are there going to be any elves there?” “How does Father Christmas get all the presents to everyone on time?”  

“Alex (his elder brother) says Father Christmas doesn’t exist, why does he say that?”

These were just some of the questions Max fired at me as we headed off to Finland on a day trip with Crystal.  The company runs special trips at this time of year leaving from Gatwick airport first thing in the morning and getting back last thing at night.  It was a long way, but well worth it.

fc2We arrived in darkness, remember Father Christmas lives inside the Arctic Circle, and were assigned a charming lady called Blueberry to be our elf helper and to escort us for the day.  “She’s ever so nice Mummy but isn’t she too big to be an elf.  I thought elves were supposed to be small”.

I reassured him that elves come in all shapes and sizes and he seemed quite happy with that.  Besides he thought Blueberry had great clothes.

Before our meeting with Father Christmas we went tobogganing, had a husky dog ride and Max even got a reindeer-driving license when he took over the reins. He thought the dog rides were brilliant as we went through a magical snow clad forested landscape, nimbly missing trees by centimetres.  “That was such fun”, Max exclaimed when the dogs came to a halt.

I must admit I was rather relieved as we went a bit too fast and too close to the trees for my liking!
Max was in his element and seemed fascinated by the reindeer.  He asked how many there were in Finland (around 250,000) and then how many of them help Father Christmas deliver all the presents to children round the world.  He also heard that Laplanders believe that when we die we are reincarnated as reindeers and come back to graze in the woods. Max said he’d rather be an elf.

Soon it was to be the magical moment – a meeting with Father Christmas.  But first we went to meet Mrs Santa where we decorated gingerbread biscuits with the elves and helped them make decorations.

fc3_400Then the moment arrived.

As we were ushered in, there was a roaring log fire and a rather youngish looking Father Christmas.  Max sat on his lap and was given a little reindeer as a present. He asked Max where he lived and what he wanted for Christmas and then they moved on to talk about football.

“Which is your favourite team”, Father Christmas asked.
“Liverpool”, replied Max.
“But you live in London,” observed Father Xmas.

Max then went to explain why and who were his favourite players, and as we left he seemed so happy that he’d been able to talk about football with Father Christmas.

Then it was on to some more modern activities as we donned crash helmets and went on quad bikes followed by a safari on snowmobiles.  Before we knew it the magical day was over and we were heading back to the airport and the flight back.

fc4_400Next year Max will be 9 and with an older brother and sister the magic of Father Christmas might not be there in quite the same way. For him, and me, it had been a fabulous day and one that will certainly remain with me, and I hope him, forever.

Just before he fell asleep with exhaustion I asked him what had been the best bit of the day.

“Either meeting all the reindeer and stroking them or talking about Liverpool with Father Christmas”.

With that he closed his eyes and feel sound asleep.

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