This is an open letter to all the well meaning hard working and possibly fed up Santas that are dotted all over the country. In fact maybe I shouldn’t be directing this at the santas themselves but rather the organisers of all the Santa grottos/Santa experiences..call them what you will.
I have two little girls who are at the age where we’ve been singing Christmas carols since November, the advent calendars are religiously ( get it??!!!) and ceremoniously (I did it again!) opened on a daily basis, they want EVERYTHING they see on TV and they want Santa Claus to bring it. The importance of Santa Claus is indescribable …he is the milk in my tea, he is the head on Chris’ pint and he is quite simply God to my girls. So when we bring them to see Santa it’s a big thing. Timetables are changed, cameras are at the ready and tongues are tied. (Well in our case, they loosen fairly easily!!)… but it is so God damn frustrating when the Big Man doesn’t even know their names… Now, my girls don’t have one syllable names that are impossible to get wrong but nor do they have tongue twisters! At the Santa we went to this year, he called our older girl 6 different names…SIX!!!!!…It’s not nice to see the confusion and doubt on her face and you can read her mind…”Oh God does he know who I am??!!! Will he bring me the right presents??!!”…and listen my friends, when we booked the ‘experience’ they had the childrens’ names…you have a list – refer to it people! If we want to tell the girls that the Santa they’re visiting is one of the real Santa’s helpers dressed up like him we will – but in our own time. I don’t think it’s acceptable to be forced into it because the Santas were crap! Okay okay – ‘crap’ is harsh – one was really good (apart from name-gate) – but it’s the costumes, and attention to detail that ruin everything..last year we were told “it definitely wasn’t the real Santa because he had a false beard and his black moustache was very visible under it…clever girl huh??…this year, the boots were not even real – they were covers over shoes…listen up MR and MRS Claus – kids today are clever.. right?…they could buy and sell us all and my girls will notice a dirty big Michael Kors watch!
…Soooo, before I suggest 5 fab Santas..here is a little check list for all you jolly men donning the big red suit!…
1) AS I SAID BEFORE – YOU HAVE A LIST OF NAMES – PLEASE USE IT.
2) THE BEARD…if you do not have a real beard –PLEASE ensure your fake one does not slip or go crooked and show your own moustache..
3) If Santa was to wear a watch – chances are it would not be a trendy one – so unless you are donning an ‘old school’ timepiece –leave it off..
4) Boots should be just that ..’boots’– not covers for shoes.. children WILL accept wellies – wellies will make sense – you’ve just come from the North Pole remember?
5) …and finally – don’t ACT as Santa Claus – BE Santa Claus – and you’ll be convincing!!!Now, here are my 5 suggestions for Santa…bear in mind all bookings will be gone – so use this for next year!!..
1) THE RATHWOOD SANTA TRAIN…These bloody feckers are hard to catch..tickets went on sale on the 2nd of September this year at 9am – the following morning at 9:30 – it was slim pickings – unless you’re willing to take your kids out of school to see Santa – you need to be on the ball and online to get an after school slot…
2) CAUSEY FARM… this is another place you need to book early – but by all accounts anyone I know who’s been here is bowled over! A real experience..that lasts an hour and a half..
3) If you’re going ‘Up North’ – there is a cracking Santa in ‘TITANIC BELFAST’..There is a man called Danny McCarthy who IS Santa – and not only does he absolutely look the part he has an amazing rapport with children – worth the trip!!
4) SANTA AT ARNOTTS … an age old family favourite – this Santa continues to be a free service and now Arnotts have brought in a special queuing system….making life that little bit easier..
5) This final one is a bit of a cheat – he is very exclusive. THE OVAL CRECHE in Palmerstown have one of the best Santa’s I’ve EVER seen!!! The children are truly convinced he’s the real deal – hell I’M convinced he is!!!! His beard is real, his Ho Ho Ho is real and praise the Lord!!..he gets the names right!!!! But mind you – you have to part of a very special club to meet this Santa – thank God we’re in it!!
Oh and a special mention to Airfield in Dundrum where Bex did a recent radio report, the experience books up quickly but is a real treat for all involved.
I’d just like to finish off by reminding you all …the best Santa you can see is the one you see when you look in the mirror…YOU are Santa to your children…YOU keep him alive and YOU are who the children love…