I’m lucky enough that my little brother is at that wonderful age of six years old. For him, the magic of Christmas is very much alive and shinning ever so brightly. I still watch his little eyes light up at the very mention of Rudolf or the man in red. So this Christmas, when the idea had been floating around for a while, I took the opportunity join my family for a once in a life time trip to Lapland.
Since the mention of the idea, I have been bursting with excitement. We agreed not to tell him until the last-minute, so when I FaceTimed them a couple of weeks before, I had long thought out what I was going to do. I kept with a lovely traditional idea which I had heard people chatting about; that it’s too late and the elves can’t collect your letter…. so I guess we’ll have to take it to Santa ourselves. And it worked perfectly. He was so excited.
We finally left last Wednesday. I packed my bag with all the thermals and jumpers I could, and when I was done my father poured 80 hand warmers on top… I should probably mention now that my dad, well he can be a bit, intense. Okay let’s be honest he’s nuts! He walked past a giant box of hand walkers in Costco for £10 and so he just had to get it. So naturally I carried most in my backpack. Honestly, what am I going to do with him?
The night before our flight we stayed in the Premier Inn at London Gatwick, though I barely slept a wink. I was just so excited. And when we finally got onto the plane, the journey wasn’t your typical plane ride. It had been completely Christmas-a-fide! There was a sing along and activity packs for the kids, food and even a Christmas joke competition. My brother and father slept through it, but I loved it. It made the 3 hour flight go rather quickly. When we landed in the most beautiful place on earth, it felt like we had stepped through the wardrobe to Narnia. It was beautiful! The snow was so white and it glistened in the light. I wont say sun since they hadn’t actually seen the sun rise there in almost two weeks, but there was light. As the plane lowered, you could see each tree stand out, like little green flowers on a floor of pure white snow. I cant describe how beautiful it was.
Our first day went by rather quickly, once off the plane we grabbed your bags and were on the couch within 10 minutes. So quick right! To fill up the evening we went sledging! Oh my goodness, so the place we were staying was home to the longest toboggan run in Europe. Naturally we had plenty of opportunity to test it out yet we didn’t until the last day, and it was amazing! So fast and it went on forever, since it was almost 3km long. Only my dad and I went on it, and I wiped out twice! It was great!
The next day was spent testing out the ‘tasters’, which was essentially all the things you go to Lapland to do as an adult. We went on the reindeer safari, a husky ride and snowmobiling. And it was brilliant. So very magical. The huskies were by far my favourite, which we did the next day, but I will write a whole post on that for Saturday. I’ll link it here once its up.
One thing I will note is how much smaller the reindeer where than I thought they would be! They are no bigger than the normal deer at home. But for some reason I had it in my head that they would be the same sizes as small horses, but their not! It actually really shocked me. But they were also completely adorable and super friendly (especially the ones at Santa’s hollow). My brother and I loved the ‘safari’, which was basically a lap in the sleigh behind a reindeer. It doesn’t sound like much and it looks really slow, but it was actually really relaxing and you got to see everything!
Our next stop was the snow mobiles. I was really nervous about these since I’d never driven anything with an engine other than a car, but by the gods, it was so much fun and such a rush! The taster involved a small one mile track which my step-up enjoyed so very much that we booked to do a two-hour session the next day. I partnered with my dad and after the halfway break, I drove us home. The warmth of the handlebars and the speed was a true rush. So much fun!
By the fourth day (including arrival day), Danny was super excited to meet Santa. We left early in the morning and they took us to a secret location just outside of Saariselkä, where we were staying. Once there, we were mysteriously told to wait for the snowmobiles and asked to go off a few families at a time. By the time it was our turn, we were so excited to finally get to Santa’s ‘village’. It was amazing! We were given a hot chocolate each as we headed to the border, where they asked us to salute and then we made our way along the fire lit pathway.
We first found the reindeer in training, Lightning and Stargazer, who were so very friendly. They came right up to the fence and let us stoke their soft little noses. A lovely little elf told us all about the reindeer and how they fly. We then made our way to the Shaman, who blessed us with luck, before we finally got to meet Santa. Meeting the big man in red was a real special moment for my brother and they made sure he had plenty of time. By the time he was getting his little present and making his way out the door he was in total awe.
The last night was spent at a lovely Christmas dinner. We all had to wear the worst Christmas jumpers we had so naturally there were thousands of flashing lights everywhere. It was super festive! Next came the pantomime, Aladdin, which went so wrong it was hilarious! Even the cast were in hysterics. We finished off our trip with some spectacular fireworks and we all headed off to bed in complete amazement over the whole trip.
It all went by so very quickly, yet it seemed to last forever at times. It was completely magical. And now I am so very ready for Christmas I can’t wait! I hope you’re all ready too.