Friday 16 November 2012

How to keep your child believing in Father Christmas: 10 tips

It’s a sad fact, but it does seem as though children are growing up far quicker than ever before. And a casualty of this is often that their belief in Santa disappears sooner than it did for you when you were a child. So I’m handing this blog over to a VIP guest who might be able to help a little….

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you: Santa Claus!:

Ho, ho, ho! Thank you for allowing me to write a little message on your blog. I won’t keep you long because I am rather busy. 

Right, so, it would seem that the subject of this message is: how to stay believing in me. Well, let me tell you something. There will come a time when your child does stop believing - it doesn't mean that I've gone away of course, it just means that they are growing up and looking at new things. One of the problems parents often ask me is: What happens when their friends stop believing, but my own child still does? I tell them that just because their friend no longer believes doesn't mean that they have to stop. All the while they believe, I will keep visiting. Every year, no matter what. And don’t worry about hurting my feelings if you don’t believe in me any more, I know its just a part of growing up. But it doesn't mean I don’t still expect you to be nice all year though - I don’t like naughty people, no matter what their age!

I often ask parents to help me keep the magic alive, and here are a few tips I like to share:
  • Rule 1 is obvious and I'm sure you do it already: Christmas Eve is the time when you must get everything ready for my arrival. Put out your stocking (or whatever it is you like to use) and always leave me a drink and snack. I am partial to mince pies, but anything you can spare is gratefully accepted. Leaving a carrot or two for the reindeer is always a nice touch too (although they are messy eaters, so expect chomped carrot ends to be scattered around!).
  • Rule 2 - everything I leave is always wrapped in different paper to the rest of your presents because I don’t buy wrapping paper from the shops that Mums & Dads go to. Mine comes from the North Pole and is very different.
  • Rule 3 - many children worry about how I enter their home if they don’t have a chimney. Please tell them that this is not a problem, I have adapted my entries and exits over the years to accommodate this problem as many newer houses don’t have chimneys. If necessary, I am able to use a special magical key to enter a door - or if push comes to shove, I can sprinkle magic dust over myself and simply sparkle my way in. Don’t worry, it doesn't hurt and I quite enjoy it! I can also enter through cat flaps, lofts, windows and even letter boxes. No present goes undelivered because I can’t gain access, I know every trick in the book!
  • Rule 4 - hiding presents before the big day is a very important task that parents must adhere to. Enough said.
  • Rule 5 - I can sometimes forget to wipe my feet when I enter a house, and it has been known for me (and the reindeer) to leave footprints. Not always, but sometimes. I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to parents for this - and for anything that I may knock over, inadvertently move, dislodge, or crease.
  • Rule 6 - if you have been very good during the year (and I mean exceptional), I will write to you. My letters are very special, I only send 100 a year to the children who have shown the very best behaviour throughout the year. If you think that your child should be near the top of my Nice List, click here to let me know and I promise I’ll write to them (and send them some early presents too)!
  • Rule 7 - the Santa’s that you see in shops, etc (eg, in a ‘Grotto’) are not always me. There, I've said it. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't  If you are in the least bit doubtful as to whether it is the real Santa that you are meeting in a shop, then the chances are it’s one of my helpers. But don’t worry, they are all fully authorised and everything you say to them is relayed directly through to me. Sometimes I wire Grotto’s up with CCTV so that I can listen in and find out exactly what you are hoping for. So don’t worry, I never miss a thing!
  • Rule 8 - if you spot a helicopter or low flying plane in the sky between October and December, it is me. I’m just keeping tabs and updating my Naughty or Nice List.
  • Rule 9 - whilst most of the gifts that I leave on Christmas Eve are made by the Elves, sometimes I do have to add things that have come from normal shops. I only ever use suppliers that have passed rigorous tests and have full Santa Approval however.
  • Rule 10 - a wonderful way to experience my journey on Christmas Eve is by tracking me at Norad is the North American Aerospace Defense Command. They are a proper military organisation, working to protect the air space over North America. Honestly, they’re real, check them out: Every year they use their specialist equipment to track my movements as I travel around the world.

 There will eventually come a time when boys and girls reach an age where they question if I really exist. But even old, grown up people know that I do - but not always in the way that you think. The spirit of Santa changes as we get older - I can change from the lovely jolly man in my red suit into something that is even more magical: the spirit of Christmas. I may stop visiting after a while, but my spirit lives on. You know that magical feeling you have on Christmas morning that everyone feels no matter what their age? And that wonderful feeling when you give someone a gift? That’s the spirit of Christmas - and me!

Ho, ho, ho - Merry Christmas to you all!
Santa Claus

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Letters from Santa - 'the best by far'

You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I'm telling you why:

Santa Claus is coming to town!

- and he'll be writing to the very best behaved children again this year, so you better take a look at his fabulous personalised letters quick!

Once again this year, Father Christmas is going to be sending some truly magical letters to just a few lucky children - he only sends a limited number, so if you know a youngster who would love to receive one it's time to act! Head on over to PhotoFairytales and reserve one now - and for every one he writes, I will make a donation to a fabulous UK charity too!

As before, each letter is prepared individually and is packed with details that will help children to really understand the spirit of Christmas and the magic of Santa. He will sign each letter personally, and also sends a personalised quality card certificate awarded for excellent behaviour throughout 2012. Plus, he will be popping 4 fabulous little gifts in too which will keep little fingers busy during the exciting wait for Christmas Day. Everything is packaged up in a big jolly red envelope, and delivered to your little boy or girl during December.

If you would like Father Christmas to send letters to siblings each letter will be slightly different. And if he wrote to you last year don't worry - the letter this year will be different (Santa doesn't like to repeat himself!).

Every letter will raise money for Rainbow Trust - a UK charity providing emotional and practical support to families who have a child with life threatening or terminal illness. So when you reserve a letter I will make a 50p donation and you will be helping me to support a very worthwhile charity.

But hurry - as ever, there are only a limited number of letters available and every year they sell out. So don't be disappointed - click here now and reserve yours!

Praise for last years' letters:

My granddaughter, Lia, was very excited to receive not just a letter from Santa but a certificate and gifts too! Highly recommended and Lia's mum was even more delighted that Santa told Lia to go to bed early on Christmas Eve! have made one little girl (and mum and granny) very happy!

Simply wonderful - the children adored them!

A HUGE thank you for Scarlett's letter from Santa! I have never seen her eyes so big and her smile so wide! She has told everyone about her certificate for being on the nice list!!!

I just wanted to thank you for my girls Letters from Santa - the look of awe on their faces was amazing, they couldn't believe that Santa actually knew what they wanted for Christmas and who their best friends were, they got to work instantly colouring in their cards and decorating the finger puppets and bookmarks - you definitely made their day...

Ho, ho, ho!
Sarah :)

Thursday 1 November 2012

Smashing Pumpkins!

Halloween may well have finished at midnight last night, but rather than turning into a pumpkin I thought I'd share some truly amazing carved pumpkin images with you. Now our efforts at home weren't a patch on these, but I think next year I may be feeling a little more ambitious after seeing these...!

The first two images on the left come from the granddaddies of them all when it comes to pumpkin carving: Villafane Studios in the USA - their work is breathtaking. Yes, breathtaking pumpkins I tell you! (And when you check out the website - which you absolutely and completely have to - take a look at their amazing sand sculptures too...). I could fill this page with their images, but I've got a few others I want to show you too:

The first two images below (cat and mouth) are from another incredible pumpkin carving artist: Scott Cummins at - he has been creating and designing pumpkins, many based on famous faces and characters, for years and you really must take a wander through his gallery of work, you won't be disappointed I promise.

Bottom left is an incredible carving made by the super talented It's based on Vincent Van Gogh's 'Starry Night' and was gifted to the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2011. And finally, that lovely witch (bottom right) - this is almost one I can see myself attempting next year! I found this via and I love the idea of turning the pumpkin on its side and using the stalk as part of the design don't you?

So, are you feeling fired up and inspired for next Halloween too?!

Sarah :)

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