Every year in the weeks leading up to Christmas Day, conversation increasingly turns to the subject of whether or not we’ll get to experience a white Christmas. Sadly, because of the temperate latitude that we enjoy in Ireland that is a statistically unlikely event. There are, however, many many places around the world (and particularly around Europe) where one can experience a picture postcard white Christmas — just like they do in the movies! Last week, one of my grandsons got to see the real Santa up in Lapland; a region of northern Finland that is located above the Arctic Circle. Not only did he get to see the bearded one but he also met an elf that was over 124 years old (Santa is at least 600 and counting!), ride a skiddoo; enjoy a reindeer sleigh ride and a host of other once-in-a-lifetime activities that still have this eight-year old with a permanent grin on his face!
Innocence is lost all too quickly in this permanently switched-on world of ours so anything that can preserve the wonder and myth for a little bit longer is worth every single penny in my book! It had originally been my intention to accompany my grandson to this magical winter wonderland but such was the outcry from his mother that I finally had to relent and let her travel in my place. All I asked in return was that she capture on video, the expression on his little face when she finally revealed where they were actually going on the day of departure (he thought he was being taken to Dublin on a shopping expedition). The resulting video was — as the ad for a certain plastic card often tell us — priceless!
Christmas is not a cheap time of the year and trips to Lapland can be off putting because of the necessarily high prices but you really only need to do it once and believe me, the memories (and thus the value of the experience) will last a lifetime! It is also worth mentioning that my daughter and grandson travelled with Sunway who have to be commended on an amazing product and service which does everything it says on the tin. I cannot recommend this product highly enough!