It’s true, Father Christmas is real…


Tom, Maddie and JoeIt is true, Father Christmas is real, oh so lovely AND we met him.The "once in a lifetime" trip to meet the man himself in his house in snowy Lapland (well Finland actually, but lets not be pedantic!) was FANTASTIC and I'm so so glad we finally did it. Yes it was silly money, yes it was exhausting, but it was so worth it.

We woke at 5am – it's funny how everyone was super speedily out of bed and dressed in their base layers in a flash, most unlike school mornings where gentle persuasion is more the order of the day and the whole rigmarole invariably takes 20 minutes, (15 more than we actually have!).

Off to the airport we set and even checking in and on our flight all the attendants were Christmassy and child friendly! Maddie led the singing of carols as she was queuing for the loo at the appropriate moment! It was truly lovely and hearing weeny children singing away beautifully out of tune! Certainly had the aaaaah factor.

Claire and her family in LaplandI'd been worried about the cold, the word minus is enough for me regardless of how many minuses it actually is. However, I needn't have worried as they provided fab gear for us all including balaclavas. What a fashion statement, not! Plus, I was a tad anxious if they were washed each trip as thinking about it ALL your germs are trapped… eeeeuuugghh!) 

The suits and boots were all as warm as toast so when we stepped out into the darkness of Lapland and clambered into a sleigh covered with reindeer furs and blankets, we could just totally appreciate the sheer beauty of the white wonderland as we sped through the crisp white snow into the woods and in search of Father Christmas.

We were excited, beyond excited, and it really was magical. Lit only by candles and lanterns and open fire pits, much needed for a little huddle and to warm the fingers (the only chilly bit for me, and that's because I took ordinary leather gloves – silly I know).

ReindeerThere were statuesque reindeers resplendent in their Lappish extra special adornments which took us as a family for a ride in their sleigh, though one appeared enamoured with Maddie and Dan and I were both rather anxious, as lets face it, one quick angle with those antlers and… well lets not think about it. I certainly breathed again when we hopped out!

The huskie dogs were incredibly noisy and flipping fast considering they were pulling Dan and I along in thick heavy snow. In fact Maddie now wants a huskie dog, not sure that Gus would like to hear that! Plus, she added a ferret of all things to her Christmas list the other day. A ferret, I think not! Father Christmas if you're listening.

Joe displayed worrying levels of speed as he zoomed around on a snowmobile – I'm going to be utterly petrified when he becomes old enough to drive having witnessed a demonic look in his eyes particularly when we were all shouting, ( ok muffled shouting, remember we're all in balaclavas!) STOP three laps later he finally slewed to a halt.

Tom, Maddie and Joe with Father ChristmasAnd Tom… well, witnessing Tom chatting animatedly to Father Christmas about the Imaginext toys he hoped that he may find in his stocking from him this year was just too special. With both a smile from ear to ear and tears, I captured a little of the wondrous moment on film, though it will remain one of those perfect memories of life for me.

Sadly I didn't manage to ask Father Christmas for diamond earrings! But to be honest I think seeing my three cuddling him, (Joe was hidden beneath the present) was quite enough of a gift for me.
We returned home by 11.15pm that same night, exhausted, but oh so happy and safe in the knowledge that he WOULD be coming down our chimney next week.

Maddie and JoeThis week is certainly careering towards the big day waaaay too quickly and my jobs today were plentiful. One was to clean the silver cutlery, it was our wedding present which we use every day, and as dishwashers and posh cutlery don't mix super well , it needs to sparkle.

To make the spare room bed up in its new lavender Northern Nights sheets was another one; clearing the bed first of all the washing and ironing etc. What have I actually done of those jobs you may ask? Well, I HAVE had a manicure (it IS for work mind you!) plus a new set of minx on my tootsies! Oh so pleasing to look down upon.

I have dosed myself up with all number of cold remedies (virus last week and now a cold) and I took Anne Dawson's advice and chilled a little! After all, a girl needs to recover from the HUMUNGOUS food shop for Christmas which was added onto the end of my early start at QVC yesterday – a busy day indeed.

I shall be seeing you all on QVC on the 22nd, 23rd and Christmas Eve too and then back on the 27th and onward.

For now though I shall wish you ALL, a wonderfully happy and magical time over Christmas. I know for many of you it'll be a time without special people in your lives, I wish you peace and comfort and send you love…

To those of you have been good this year don't forget to pop your stocking up. He is real you know!!!!!!!
Much love as always and a very Happy Christmas to you all.

Claire xxxx


  1. Kristina Moore December 20, 2012 at 5:35 pm -  Reply

    Hello Claire, there are two words for this BRILLIANT and MAGICAL! I am so glad the visit to Father Christmas went so well and please if you see him send him my way. I have got to find Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs and see (again) what he gets up to on his time off!
    Love to you all and pats to Gus!
    Tina X0X0X0X0X0
    And to everyone else that reads Claire’s blog may you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and if you need comforting that you receive it.

  2. Joanna Downey December 20, 2012 at 11:30 pm -  Reply

    Dearest Claire, All I can say is WONDERFUL. What an amazing report of such a glorious day. Your children are beautiful and your descriptions are divine. Thank you for your missives (nicer word than blog) this year; your descriptions and the way you share your emotions with us are very special. I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, because it is the most magical time of the year, and all the best for 2013. Love from Jo who truly loves Christmas xx

  3. December 21, 2012 at 10:01 am -  Reply

    Girls THANK YOU for always taking the time to read and chat back with me. I can’t tell you the boost it gives to me. A career around Tesco’s for the last bits, collect Tom in 2 hours…aaa argh, half day I now know! And then boys and Gus to pack up to nannies . Madds and I are off to London!
    See you over the next three days and HAPPY MAGICAL CHRISTMAS TIME TO YOU ! Can’t stop singing Christmas songs!!!!! Xxxxxxxx

  4. Davina Morris December 21, 2012 at 5:31 pm -  Reply

    Dearest Claire,
    What a brilliant adventure you all had. Glad it was so magical for the family, if a little cold (Brrrrrr). Your right it will be strange this christmas without my Mum but even stranger as the family will all be doing diferent things this year. Dad is going away to Eastbourne & my sister has had a tough year with health & problems with her grandson which has put a lot of stress on her. So she is having a quiet christmas with her partner & mum-in-law only. Which leaves me cooking & enjoying christmas dinner on my own (with a nice glass of wine). Oh & some homemade mince pies, sausage rolls & ‘cheats’ christmas puds.
    Hope to catch you on qvc in the run up to christmas and i suspect you’ll probably be wearing a little more than you were the other day!! (ooooeerrr missus), although you did look very glam.
    I wish you & your family a wonderful christmas & a happy New Year.
    Davina xxx

  5. Steven December 22, 2012 at 1:26 pm -  Reply

    Great blog Claire
    Hope you have a lovely Christmas and great New Year
    Steven xxxx

  6. Susan December 22, 2012 at 4:25 pm -  Reply

    Claire what a wonderful and uplifting blog! You write so beautifully and I always await your next blog so eagerly. You really are a star you know. A special person. I am soo pleased you took that trip with your little ones and Dan. Never mind the expense…as you say it will be with you for the rest of all your lives. You soo deserve it. I know like me just having some down time and family time is good enough for you! And so I hope you get that. Anne is lovely isn’t she. Do take her advice as so many things around. I’ve got a dose myself! You take care and much love to all of the family,
    Susan x

  7. Sylvia December 22, 2012 at 4:55 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire
    So glad you and all your lovely family had a great time visiting Santa..I would like to wish you all a Very happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year. Hopefully we will speak again in 2013 xxxSylvia

  8. mary morphy December 23, 2012 at 6:57 am -  Reply

    Hi Claire…we took our children to Santa World in Sweden when they were 6 and 4 (Some 9 years ago now!) and it still brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. We stayed in Sweden for two nights but it was exhausting. Santa World is on the top of a thick snowy covered mountain in the Northern part of the country and the kids, in snow gear, boots and wacky woolly hats were completely mesmerized by the toy workshop, elves houses, ice king and queen (the Christmas village was built around a frozen lake) and of course the big man himself. I have a photo of them siiting on Santa’s knee on his rocking chair which is one of my most treasured possessions and their eyes say it all. We had secretly arranged for Santa to give them a gift that was on their Christmas lists which had been forwarded prior to our visit in the way of a letter that each of them had written. At the end of the day when everyone had left following a torchlight procession down the mountain we went all the way back up again to meet Santa again with Mrs Santa and the elves. Jack and Chloe were given their presents by Santa and he showed them the letters he had received from them. I was unable to take photos due to tears running down my face! Remebering it all now gives me goosebumps..he really is out there and what memories you have given your children and treasured moments for you and Dan. Happy Xmas Claire to you and all the family. Maryx

  9. PAULA JOY WILLIAMS December 27, 2012 at 6:40 am -  Reply


  10. kathleen webster December 29, 2012 at 9:23 pm -  Reply

    hi clare. i went to lapland too this year, i think we were at a different resort to you , ours was enontekio, but it was great too!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Teresa Karasavvas January 1, 2013 at 3:37 pm -  Reply

    Hello Claire
    Best wishes to you and your lovely family.
    Your blog was wonderful and can I ask you please what resort you went too. I want to go before I am too old (I am actually 50 and do not have any children) but I want to do all the things that you experienced i.e. husky dog ride, snowmobile etc. I am looking to book well in advance and want to go in December 2013. I have got the “bug” for a Winter holiday as I have just come back from an amazing trip to Iceland with my husband which was my present for my 50th Birthday.

  12. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen January 4, 2013 at 6:52 pm -  Reply

    hope you had agreat xmas and new year

  13. Usma January 8, 2013 at 5:55 pm -  Reply

    Dear Claire
    You wore a brown cardigan on 8 January on an emu footwear show. Please can you tell me where you hot it from?
    Thank you

  14. michelle mowbray January 9, 2013 at 1:59 pm -  Reply

    hi claire. Just read your lapland blog and it made me so nostalgic(and alittle teary)we tookour girls there when they was 6 and 10(they are now 15 and 19) and it truely was magical..(apart from my oldest having a terrible sickness bug and having to wrap her scarf tightly round her face when she went into see the big red man himself just incase,,would have been mortified if she had been ill over you had a wonderful time.wishing you all a peaceful happy new year. love shelley x

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