Santa, elves and a dash of snowy magic
THE WORD “magical” is often used to describe Lapland, but it’s hard to think of a better one.
The snow is thick on the ground and, because it’s only light for two hours in the middle of each day during the depths of winter, everywhere is lit up. The result is like being in a magic kingdom because the snow glistens and sparkles in the reflected light.
We stayed in a toasty log cabin in Luosto complete with Christmas tree, open fire and sauna, although we were too busy during our short stay to use it.
On the first morning we were introduced to “mushing” – our children, Kaya Skye, seven, and Akira, three, were excited at the thought of being pulled along on a sledge by a pack of huskies, especially as my husband Trey was going to be in charge of the reins as the huskies raced through the trees.
Trey was warned that, when we came to a hill, he’d have to jump off and help push the sledge. It proved to be a major workout.
The children and I had a lovely, long, relaxing ride through the snowy hills; Trey less so. After that, and as a reward, we were allowed a go on a Skidoo, a motorbike suitable for the snow. Trey and I have spent many hours on his bikes with him at the helm. I thought it fair that he trust me this time. By the end, he was almost as white as the snow.
The time we spent at the Kopara Reindeer Farm was one of our highlights. We sat on a sleigh under rugs to keep us warm and were pulled along by the animals at high speed.
It was thrilling. At one point Akira turned to me. “Mummy,” he said, “when are we going to take off ?” It was one of the sweetest things I’d ever heard.
Not long afterwards, as we were dashing through the forest, the only sound was the runners in the snow and the sleigh bells on the necks of the reindeer. On our second morning, we would meet Father Christmas. But first, there was much fun to be had tobogganing in the snow.
We were lucky to be in Lapland with families who’d been flown there by the Starlight charity. It arranges memorable trips for children and those with life-threatening and life-shortening conditions.
And I love the fact that Starlight makes a fuss of siblings and parents, too, since the whole family is so dramatically affected. Throughout the whole trip, we were looked after and entertained by Santa’s elves – everyone from Speedy Sam to Snowy Bowy.
They were a huge hit, especially when we visited the Post Office where letters to Santa get delivered from all over the world, and the Elves’ House where toys are made.
After that, we were delivered to Father Christmas’s house. Mrs Claus was there and we met the great man himself. He asked the children if they’d been good. Of course, they said yes and he gave each a present.
I’d say that the optimum age for a child going to Lapland would be five to seven – old enough to remember everything but young enough to believe in Santa. – Daily Mail