I’ve been told on many occasions I’m a big kid when it comes to Christmas.
It’s true there’s a huge part of me that loves the magic the festive season brings.
So when the chance came up to go to Lapland to meet Father Christmas it was an offer the ‘child within’ couldn’t refuse.
Organised by the experts at these trips, Canterbury Travel, I was booked in on a Day Santa Trip which began with a 6am start at Gatwick Airport.
The plane which took on us on the three and half hour flight to Lapland was filled with excited children and almost equally enthusiastic parents.
We landed at one of the quirkiest airports I’ve ever been to and were handed thermal snow suits and boots.
I was told by one of our friendly hosts that the temperature was now minus 13 degrees and that the suits were a ‘good idea’. She was right.
As our flight had taken us to the far reaches of the North Pole it was dark at 2.30pm which added to the magic of the day (or night).
We were whisked away by a snowmobile to a village which was so picturesque it’s probably been the inspiration behind thousands of Christmas card scenes decking the halls of our homes.
While at the village you’re offered a range of activities to do. Tobogganing, learning to drive a snowmobile, husky and reindeer rides – it’s all there to keep you entertained and enthralled until you get to meet the man himself – Father Christmas (or Santa Claus depending on what you call him).
I’m not sure who was more surprised when I walked up the candle lit path and was ushered into a beautifully lit cabin to meet him.
Me to feel genuine excitement about walking into the real Father Christmas’ Grotto or him probably feeling a little shocked to see a 55 year-old man grinning broadly at him. He handled it with the skill and warmth you’d expect from the festive season’s main man.
Luckily for both of us I didn’t have to sit on his knee.
He was though without a shadow of doubt the most authentic looking Santa I’ve ever clapped eyes on. Real bushy white beard, genuine generously proportioned belly and a twinkle in his eye.
On the way back the plane was buzzing with children talking about meeting Father Christmas. It’s something that will live with them forever, me too as I genuinely found it magical, memorable and mountains of fun.
The trip was called Enchanting Lapland – it lived up to its name and more – it was surreal in the best sense of the word.
Even the biggest Scrooge or Grinch couldn’t fail to experience a sense of wonder and believe once again in the magic of Christmas.
To book your trip to Lapland next Christmas visit: www.canterbury-travel.com
Thanks for reading and hoping you all had a very Merry Christmas and wishing you a Happy New Year.