Reading about this New Forest Lapland debacle, I feel sorry for the kids.
There's Lapland in Lapland for rich British families to experience the real winter wonderland. God knows how much it costs for a few days for a family of four.
There's Lapland UK in Kent for less rich/more tight families, costing £75 - £80 each.
And then there's poor old Lapland New Forest at £25 a throw. You can't expect much for that and it looks like you don't get much other than stress.
Christmas was wonderful for me as a very small child because it was all kept to the confines of my close family. I pretty quickly cottoned on that the prat in the department store wasn't the real Father Christmas because I pretty quickly cottoned on that Father Christmas was my dad, not somebody else's. My parents showed me their love by creeping into my room when I was asleep and depositing a pillowcase full of gifts at the foot of my bed. I knew it was my dad (though I've since found out it was actually my mum as my dad was always too pissed to not make a noise).
That was the true magic of Christmas. My dad proving how much he loved me (though now I know it was my mum).
Santa Claus, the reindeer, elves and the rest didn't come into it. And why a sensitive, greedy child would want to share this gloriously selfish time with a load of other snotty kids heaven only knows.
The child who saw Santa smoking a cigarette outside his grotto in the New Forest Lapland will apparently need counselling. Oh come on, at least he wasn't smoking it in the grotto! He wasn't blowing smoke in the kiddies' faces or offering them a drag! He wasn't breaking the law!
If that child's old enough to walk, it's about time they worked out for themselves that that man in the red suit is being paid to dress up. Daddy and Mummy have paid good money so that Santa, the elves, the reindeer, the huskies and the security guards can all have a Christmas dinner of their own, with their own families if they're lucky enough to still have them.
2 days ago