Christmas gets touch of seasonal class at Elf School
Christmas is coming early to a rural West Cork community.
The Sheeps Head peninsula is planning to establish a seasonal Elf School for the hundreds of local children longing to become experts in the correct method of peeping in windows to see who’s being naughty and who’s being nice!
Feverish preparations are already underway by the community council of Muintire Bháire which is preparing to bring lashings of the Christmas spirit — along with Santa and Mrs Claus, their elves and a live crib — to a picturesque old house.
The property was donated to the community many years ago by artist Alice West.
Some 200 children from the area are expected to attend Elf School.
There they will get the chance to meet Santa beside a roaring fire, and visit a live crib at the Alice West House at the Black Gate, a few miles from the village of Kilcrohane.
Hot chocolate for children, and mulled wine for adults will also be on offer at the entirely volunteer-run event which is being organised by the Muintir Bháire Community Council.
The 50-minute ‘Christmas experience’ will require the participation of some 15 ‘elves,’ and possibly a Grumpy Innkeeper, as well as Mrs and Mr Claus themselves, along with the volunteers who will look after the animal inhabitants of the live crib — a donkey, goats and sheep.
“It’s quite a labour-inten- sive event. “Christmas at the Black Gate requires a lot of organisation and it is all voluntary,” said Anne O’Donovan of the community council.
Children who attend Elf School at the Black Gate, she said, would learn essential Christmas skills like: how to jump like an elf, how to take a “professional” approach to peeping in windows and possibly, most importantly, receive the secret password to Santa’s Kitchen.
“The fact that it is all set in a real house makes it very domestic and more realistic, as we will have an open fire.
“On the way to see the live crib they might even meet a Grumpy Innkeeper” she joked.
The event is seen as being “very much the start of Christmas on the Sheeps’ Head peninsula”.
“It’s a real community event,” said Ms O’Donovan.
Although the event ran on several occasions in previous years, it was not held last year, so organisers are expecting a big turnout this festive season.
In that context, Ms O’Donovan emphasised booking is essential for anyone wishing to attend the event, which costs €15 per child, adults free, and runs on Saturday, December 9 and Sunday, December 10 from 2pm to about 7pm each day.
Anyone who wishes to book a session at Christmas at the Black Gate should email email@example.com or phone 086 3206045