He’s back! Yes, that’s right, it’s that time of year again. Santa Claus has arrived at Avoca Powerscourt …
Avoca Powerscourt is a magical place all year long, but perhaps even more so at Christmastime, when this quintessential grand estate turns into a sparkling, twinkling festive place straight out of a movie set. Santa is front and centre of Christmas at Avoca Powerscourt, representing everything that is special about this time of year: Wonderment, magic, make-believe, happy children, good behavior, kindness and the spirit of giving.
“It’s all go at the moment,” says Santa. “The reindeer are delighted, they have the run of the Dublin mountains while I am in my Grotto busy meeting all the good children.” The whereabouts of Rudolph, Prancer, Vixen, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Dasher is often the first question on the childrens’ lips, he says: “I tell them Dasher is one of the fastest down off the Sugar Loaf. When it’s time for me to go home, I send Robin off to get him.” Santa relies heavily on a network of Robins for communications. “They are much more efficient than mobile phones,” he explains. “Most families have a Robin in their garden and these Robins keep me informed, giving me reports on all the kids, and what they’re hoping for at Christmas.”
While Santa’s reindeers are roaming outdoors, beside Santa’s Grotto at Avoca Powerscourt is a group of splendid white reindeer and a beautiful festive sleigh which the children are welcome to sit in as they wait with anticipation to enter Santa’s Grotto. The beautiful Christmas tree in the Grotto sparkles, lit with hundreds of twinkling lights and amazing decorations and lots of other magical elements (we won’t spoil the surprise!). Parents watch their children taking it all in, absorbing the atmosphere, wonderment on their little faces. Santa has a large chair, roomy enough for Mrs Claus to perch on occasionally, though she is not one for slacking. “Mrs Claus is the brains of the operation,” confesses Santa. “If it wasn’t for her, I would never get to see everyone. I love to sing and I can get a bit distracted and forget the time if I get a singalong going.” He sings about his reindeers, teaching his visitors their names through song. Another favourite is Jingle Bells and Avoca Powerscourt is often filled with its jolly notes.
Mrs Claus can sing very well also, but she knows the importance of giving every child a chance to chat with Santa so helps him stay on track and makes sure all the children receive a lovely gift (just a small treat as the real presents will be delivered on Christmas Eve). Even the Grinch would be happy to hear the heartwarming story of Santa and Mrs Claus. It began almost 30 years ago and they have been married for 21 years. “She’s a very good wife,” acknowledges Santa. “I will get her a hamper from Avoca and maybe a nice perfume this Christmas.” Mrs Claus has put him on a diet though he does sneak a mince pie from Avoca when she is very busy and “sometimes a cookie”. The couple is devoted to making every moment a child spends with Santa a special one. “Every child is different, some are confident, some less so, some very, very shy. But for each of them this experience is a big moment, a memory they will cherish forever, perhaps. There are absolutely no children on my naughty list,” says Santa.
Santa and Mrs Claus appreciate the way the Avoca Powerscourt experience is a wonderful tradition for families, immersive for children and parents alike. “They pull out all the stops here, every little detail is perfect. Some families have been coming for years. One dad told me there are more photographs of me on the piano at home than there are of him!” says Santa.
“Thankfully, because I am special and magic, the pandemic isn’t a problem for me. We have lots of space here.” Santa says he gets lots of letters from mums and dads asking him to “tell so-and-so not to whack their brother” but he says his job is not to be a disciplinarian or a child psychologist. “I know that children will do what I say,” he says, “but all I ask is that they go to bed nice and early on Christmas Eve and get a bit of practice in before that!” His motto, “Up to Bed ‘Cos Santa Said”, always works, he explains, wagging his finger.
At Avoca Powerscourt this Christmas, and at any Avoca destination, a delicious breakfast, brunch, lunch or afternoon tea awaits (followed, of course, by a famous Avoca mince pie). Admire the stunning decorations, shop for unique and beautiful gifts, have a delicious festive brunch or lunch and soak up some very special Christmas magic.
While tickets to see Santa at Avoca Powerscourt are now fully booked, Santa will be visiting all Avoca stores in the lead up to Christmas, so keep your eyes peeled! We also have a competition for one lucky family to visit Santa at a sold out event at Avoca on Sunday December 19. To be in with a chance to win, simply tell us what’s on your Christmas wish list for Santa this year. Entries via email to [email protected] must be received by Wednesday December 1 at 5pm.
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