Christmas with a Summer Twist

Being Santa Claus, naturally I love Christmas and everything that comes with it. I love all the preparations, the gift making, all the delicious food, the ambience and the white glistering snow.  In my house in Saariselkä it’s more or less always Christmassy. Summer is just around the corner and although the sun is shining strong, all the snow is melted and the reindeers are grassing we are always keeping that Christmas feeling alive, but with a summer twist. For all of you Christmas lovers I and Ms Claus have put together our top 4 tips on how you can make your summer a bit more Christmas-like!

1. Chilled Mulled Wine

We always love to drink mulled wine (or gloggi as we call it in Finland) and I’m sure you do as well. But why not give it some summer twist and make Chilled Mulled Wine? It is perfect for a garden party or a picnic on the beach.

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2. Garden Christmas Lights

Christmas lights are a necessity during the dark winter months but have you thought what an amazing effect it can give to your garden in the summer months as well? Get your Christmas lights out of the box and start decorating your garden, then sit under the trees and enjoy a summer dinner with friends and family. Priceless!

Capture

 

3. Cinnamon Ice Cream

Ms Claus found this recipe for a while ago and we love it (even the reindeers are eating it now)! Nothing beats an ice cream in the shade on a hot summer’s day and mixing it with cinnamon makes it just fabulous. This ice cream isn’t to miss!

ice cream

4. Drink Umbrella Summer Wreath

The Christmas wreath is long gone (in our house the reindeers eat them) and your door and walls are looking empty and sad until next Christmas. But do not worry – make your house a summery wreath made with drink umbrellas. Super easy and fun activity for the whole family to get involved in and it looks oh so festive!

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If you have any summery Christmas ideas share them with us on our facebook page or tweet us @SantasLapland. 

x Santa & Ms Claus 

 

Aurora Borealis Special

Come and see the Spectacular Aurora Borealis, LIVE!

Included in our trips:

  • Return flights direct to Ivalo in Northern Lapland
  • Half board in the 4 diamond Hotel Riekonlinna including airport transfers
  • Warm North-facing Northern Lights Viewing Room within the hotel
  • FREE rental of thermal suits, gloves, boots & accessories
  • FREE evening trip to the wilderness to search for the Northern Lights (less light pollution)
  • Various 2 and 3 night Gatwick and Bristol Departures from tomorrow through to Christmas

Captured on Sunday 1st December 2103!

2 night Aurora Borealis Special

11th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 22nd Dec
£399 per person (based on a twin room)

3 nights Aurora Borealis Special

12th, 13th, 19th, 20th 23rd, 24th Dec
£459 per person (based on a twin room)

CALL TO BOOK NOW – 01483 791 946

These trips are provided by Santa’s Lapland, a trading name of Hotelplan Ltd (ATOL 0025). These trips are subject to availability and may be changed at any time. Prices are correct at time of print. These offers are a one-off and do not include any Santa visit of Santa activity day. Please note that many factors affect how visible the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) are. There is no guarantee of seeing them and Hotelplan cannot be held liable if you do not.

Free Parking at Bristol Airport Offer

Santa WelcomeCome and visit me in Lapland from Bristol Airport and you can park your car for free* at the airport!

My dear friends at Bristol Airport have agreed a special deal for my guests travelling from their airport this winter. You can always rely on the team there; it is one of Rudolph’s favourite stopping points when we head west, their hay bags and carrots are second to none (and their sherry is pretty pleasing too!).

But did you know that Bristol Airport is the UK’s fifth largest airport outside London and the ninth largest across the UK and it is the third largest regional airport in England outside London.

And are you one of the 7 million people live within a two hour drive time of Bristol Airport? Bet you don’t know if you do!

If the weather gets a bit tricksy then you can be sure of a safe reception as Bristol Airport is the only airport in the South West and Wales to have Category III all-weather landing and regularly accepts diversions from other UK airports. Rudolph and the team have had to divert there a number of times, but that might be because of the hay, carrots and sherry as previously mentioned!

Bristol Airport

The Bristol Airport ‘Flyer’ Express bus service (almost as fast as my husky sled rides) links the airport to Bristol Temple Meads station, Bristol bus station, and city centre hotels. In 2010 the entire fleet was replaced with 12 new buses, with frequency increasing to every ten minutes during peak periods. Even I don’t change my huskies that regularly!

So don’t delay, make use of this wonderful offer from my friends and book your trip to see me soon.

* Only applicable to new bookings made between 28/08/13 – 15/09/13 and subject to availability.

Winner of my Lapland holiday competition

Competition Winner

From over 4000 entries my elves have a managed to pick one lucky winner, and the winner is……..

 

Claire Prosser

 

Claire and her family will be whisked away on a three-day family trip to Lapland in December to visit me and my elves here in Saariselka, Finland.

As well a private meeting with me in my log cabin home, the Prosser family will also get to take part in a husky sled ride, reindeer sleigh ride, a visit to the Igloo fantasia and Elves workshop, ice fishing and much more.

Thank you to everyone who entered and even though you might not have won, your family can still experience the magic by booking a holiday to come and meet me here in Lapland. Choose from either a 3 day/2 night or 4 day/3 night break.

Win a fantastic family holiday to visit Santa in Lapland worth £3500!

Sorry, this competition has now ended – I’ll be announcing the lucky winner very soon!

Enter my simple competition and you could win an amazing Lapland Holiday for your family to my magical homeland way up north in the snowy Arctic Circle! I’m giving away  a three-day family trip to Lapland in December!

This magical winter-holiday competition is free and simple to enter!
All you have to do is:

Step 1 – Watch the video (carefully!)
Step 2 – Answer the three questions about what appears in the video. Enter your details and you could be one step closer to visiting me in Lapland!

Step 1 – Watch the video

Read on to enter the competition…

Six months to go and my elves are already preparing for Christmas!

Santa's Lapland elves

Can you believe it – as of this week, it’s less than six months to Christmas! Like my sleigh, time definitely flies! Up here in Lapland, this means that’s it’s time for the real work to begin.

In the first half of the year we get to relax a little, but now it’s all hands to the pump to make sure we’re organised for December. With so many children all over the world, this means an awful lot of planning and lots and lots of present making. Luckily, I don’t have to do it all myself! Read on…

Lapland: Home of the Midnight Sun

Sunshine at night in Lapland

Today is a very special day (not as special as Christmas Day, of course!), but do you know why? Well, today is what’s called the summer solstice or Midsummer’s day. This means that everywhere in the northern hemisphere of the Earth (the top half) will experience more hours of daylight today than any other day of the year. Up here in the Arctic Circle, we always plan big celebrations, but why does this happen and why is it so important? Read on…

How to Pack For a Holiday to Lapland

Wrapping up warm on holiday in Lapland

Every Christmas I have to pack a lot of parcels onto my sleigh – cramming in presents for all you good boys and girls around the world is a logistical challenge. Thankfully my elves are very organised and spend a lot of time planning so that I can make it round all your houses and drop off the correct gifts every year.

Packing for any kind of trip can be seen as a chore but I really enjoy it. Making a list of all the things I’ll need reminds me of all the exciting activities I’m going to get up to. If you’re going to the beach (not that I appear there very often), it’s very straightforward but what do you need to pack for your holidays to Lapland?
Read on…

Rise of the Guardians DVD Competition Winner: Drumroll Please . . .

A montage of Santa's Lapland competition entrants

Submitted by Zoe Knowles (left), Louise Asekokhai (top right) and Deborah Worrall (bottom right).
 

I recently asked you to share your most memorable Christmas photos for a chance to win a family-friendly Christmas DVD starring me, Santa.

The competition closed on Friday, and I loved each and every one of your submissions. My heart was warmed by all the happy and excited faces!

From childhood photos taken with me many years ago, to dogs and children (and adults!) dressed up like me and my elves, your photos were touching, funny and full of the spirit of the season.

I am happy to announce that I selected one entry at random to win a DVD of the family adventure film Rise of the Guardians – and I am glad it was random, because I could never pick just one. Congratulations to Emma Rhodes, who sent in the photo below.

Santa's Lapland competition winner

Thanks Emma! I couldn’t tell if this photo was from many years ago, or if it was new and well-edited – but very cute regardless.

My busy elves will upload a few of their favourite entries to Facebook, so have a look for your submission in the next few days!

I also have an even more exciting competition up my sleeve this summer, so keep your eyes peeled. Thanks for entering, and I hope to meet you in Lapland in 2013 for a truly memorable Christmas holiday.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Northern Lights

Aurora borealis

One of the wonderful things about my home in Lapland is being so close to the Northern Lights. Me and Mrs Claus often take a walk in the forest after dinner and gaze up at the wonderful colours and patterns in the sky.

Of course, when I go up in my sleigh I get an even better view, so I’m very lucky indeed! Here are 10 interesting facts about the beautiful Northern Lights, which many children tell me they dream of seeing one day.

1: Up in Lapland, we call the Northern Lights “revontulet”, meaning “fox fires”. Local people and elves used to think that the colourful swirls of light were made by an Artic fox (like the one below) running through the sky, swishing its big, bushy tail as it went.

Arctic fox

2: Now for the science bit: some scientists aren’t convinced by the fox theory, and say the incredible light displays are the result of solar wind (charged electrons flung out from the sun) colliding with gas in our atmosphere to create vibrant waves of green, blue and red across  the night sky.

3: The Northern Lights are also known as the aurora borealis, named after the Roman goddess of the dawn. Legend has it that every morning, Aurora would fly across the sky to let the world know that the sun was about to come up. (Bonus fact: in the Southern Hemisphere, the Southern Lights are known as the aurora australis.)

Northern Lights in green

4: The lights that you see in the sky are actually very far away – 100 km, or more than 60 miles, above  Earth. This is a lot, lot higher than I fly with the reindeer and the sleigh!

5: The Northern Lights are not only beautiful, they can also be noisy – very, very rarely, we hear clapping and crackling when they swirl about the sky. When amplified, the sounds have a beautiful, other-worldly quality, which you can hear here. I don’t mind it much, but the dogs and reindeer get a little bit of a shock when it happens – particularly Dancer and Prancer!

Northern lights in Lapland

6: The nearer you live to the Arctic, the better chance you have of seeing the Northern Lights, but if you’re lucky you may see them further south. They can sometimes be seen in the north of Scotland as well as Russia, Canada and the northern United States – indeed there is a song called “The Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen” all about their appearances in Scotland.

Philip Pullman Northern Lights book cover

7: The author Philip Pullman chose “ Northern Lights” as the name for the first book in his famous fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials. In the book, the lights are a way of viewing another world. Magical!

8: Famous British TV presenter Joanna Lumley fulfilled a lifelong dream and saw the Northern Lights, which she called “the true wonder of the world”, in a television programme she made for the BBC.

9: The clever people down at NASA believe that 2013 is the perfect year to visit the Northern Lights, as the solar activity that causes them is at a ten-year high!

10: If you come to visit me in Lapland, my elves can arrange for your whole family to take a little trip to see the spectacular Northern Lights night-time show. It really is an adventure that you’ll remember forever!

Have you seen my Northern Lights board on Pinterest? Feel free to tag me (@santaslapland) in any beautiful images of the aurora you find on Pinterest.

Image credits: Northern Lights by Image Editor, Arctic Fox by Dan Mongrain, Northern Lights by Lee-Anne Inglis, Northern Lights by Visit Finland

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My Special Lapland Check-List

Items to check
What I offer
What some other companies offer
Meeting Santa Guaranteed Private Family Meeting In a large group
Reindeer sleigh ride 7-10 minute ride in the snowy woods A 2-minute 'taster' ride
Husky sled-ride 15-minute ride driving yourselves 2-minutes around a small loop
Snowmobile sleigh-ride Included for everybody Not included
My Elves and Igloo Fantasia Fun and Games with my Elves in my Igloo Not included
My Artistic Igloo Admire my Elves ice sculptures and enjoy a drink Not included
The resort The magical, natural spirit of Lapland Commercialised and busy
Places to stay The best hotels and Christmas cabins Business hotels
Resort helpers My own helpers and Rangers Limited help or just agents
Child reductions FREE places and low low prices Small, token reductions
Airport Transfers Short 25-minute coach-ride Up to 3 hours in some cases!

© 2014 Santa's Lapland, Mountain House, Station Road, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 1EX
Registered in England No. 350786   |   ABTA No. V4871   |   Phone: 01483 791 945
Open Mon - Fri 9am - 6pm, Saturday 9am - 4pm