Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Christmassy things #2

Santa has arrived in Wiltshire! It may only be the 4th of December, but for us, one of the first signs that Christmas is on its way is his annual appearance, trundling in style slowly down our street, on a float pulled by the most enormous tractor (who needs a sleigh or reindeer).


Our favourite Santa - 2012

Without fail, he has appeared in early December every year that we've lived here. The faint sound of Christmas carols is heard above the onions sizzling for supper, and there is a rush to find all the spare change in the house, for this Santa is the very best kind of Santa. Instead of distributing presents, he lights up the dark December evenings in North Wiltshire, collects money for local good causes, and enables the Lions club to provide Christmas dinners for people living alone.

In our ten visits from the tractor-pulled Santa, my kids have grown from babies, to small children demanding to know if he is the 'real' Santa. Now they are big children; believers in Santa no more, and unpeturbed by the fact that on their way back from the library yesterday, they saw the sprightly, clean-shaven Santa pulling up in his car at the top of the road ready to don his outfit and hop onto the float. Non-believers they may be, but having overtaken Santa down the street, the two of them couldn't wait to stand outside our house with the babies from over the road, who have taken their place as the youngest residents.

I suspect that even when they are surly teenagers, the arrival of Santa will still bring a smile to their faces, and that in years to come, it won't be the gifts of Lego sets, Playmobil or dolls' pushchairs that they remember, but the joy of Santa's early arrival.

Is there something that always heralds the start of the Christmas season for you?

10 comments:

  1. We have lived in our present house for 26 years & for most if not all of those years the Rotary Club Father Christmas Sleigh has come down our road.Happy happy memories of hearing the music slowly getting nearer & keeping the children up in their pyjamas to wave to him from the window.The youngest (of six) is now nearly 23 & I'm still waving to him!

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  2. Thanks for sharing that Vicki - your happy memories have made me smile too!

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  3. where i used to live we had a sleigh come round. during sept/oct discreet signs would appear round the town about the present drop, canny parents would wrap up pressies, purchase the label (all proceeds to charity), drop off their gifts and forget all about it. on Christmas eve along would come Santa on his sleigh/float accompanied by clowns just ahead of him knocking on doors to make sure the children were there. Santa would be given a gift from the small house on the float in which was cramped a couple more clowns (I was lucky enough to do it one year!) and told the name of the child, Santa would then greet the child by name and give them their present all with Christmas songs blaring from the dodgy little sound system that would turn itself off on any sharp right hand turns!!! To see the looks on the faces was sooo magical.
    I can remember him coming round from when I was about 4 and receiving a gift to being older and helping both in the house and as a clown giving out sweets to people who would come out to wave (and often offer cups of tea and toilet stops!!)

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    1. What a lovely story Claire, right down to the dodgy sound system! And great that you were part of the entire process. Getting the right pressent to the right child sounds quite a feat of organisation to me!

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  4. Santa rode a fire truck in our neighborhood until there was a ruling that the truck couldn't be out of the fire house unless there was a fire. It's not like the truck carrying Santa couldn't have gone to the emergency from the neighborhood, but that's the rule and we don't see him any more. I think Scrooge made up that rule.

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  5. Christmas arrives here in New Brunswick with the fresh snow that stays,the ice on the pond freezes and the children anxiously go out in their skates and toboggans. It hasn't happened yet this year. There is a Santa Claus parade in the nearby city at the end of November where Santa collects foodstuffs for the needy and letters from the children. Each one is answered by Canada Post who hire special elves for the task. On the same night, down the road, a family turns on their display. A large light display that began with a simple wreath on the house and over the years has grown to what it is today. The display is not plastic or blown up lit people etc, but handmade wire frames covered and lit from the inside. The display brings thousands of visitors each year - http://www.photovision360.ca/galleries/360/360_12/gallery360_05.htm - Do click on the arrows for what I think is the best of the display like the manger. This display is now the 'beginning of the season' for many. Global warming has brought extreme weather to the UK, but has delayed winter here for the most part. Most people here say 'Bring it on' but I miss the snow. Sometimes it is a green Christmas - unheard of in the old days when show would come mid November and stay until April. We are lucky to have snow now from January through March. December snow is now 'chancy'... my snowshoes and poles are ready to go but they don't get as much use as they once did... enjoy the 360 video.

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    1. Thanks for those observations Canadian Girl, and for sharing what Christmas is like in New Brunswick. That sounds a good Santa too, and brilliant elves! We've enjoyed the video very much, and it's reminded us of a house in the next town that always does a great display for charity. We haven't checked it out for a couple of years, but we will this year. The last few years have brought some unusual weather patterns over here too for sure.

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  6. Unfortunately the only thing that signifies the start of Christmas here is the appearance of Christmas decorations and carols in the shops in October! It sounds like a great tradition you have there :)

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    1. Certainly better than all the Christmas stuff being put out early in shops!

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