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Wishgranter Steph's trip to Lapland…
Our friends at Canterbury Travel kindly invited me to experience a trip to Lapland. As a Wishgranter, I organise many of these wishes every year and I welcomed this opportunity to see the wish through the eyes of our wish families.
I’d like to share my experience of this 2-night trip with you…
From the moment we boarded the aircraft there was a magical atmosphere, even the cabin crew were wearing their Christmas jumpers!
After the 3-hour flight which was filled with festive games and singing, we arrived in beautiful Lapland, ready to search for Santa!
Everything seemed to be part of a fairy tale and I was immediately caught up in the excitement of it all. Even transferring to the coach was a special moment for many of the children who had never seen snow before!
They were so excited and it made for the perfect start to a fantastic trip.
During the 90-minute coach ride to the hotel we were entertained by our guides who led us in singing, told us stories, and taught us some useful words in Finnish.
Crossing into the Arctic Circle was met with great anticipation, and as we approached the line, Mikey, our magical tour guide, involved us in a noisy and energetic countdown which was great fun!
After a brief stop to pick up our snowsuits and snow boots we made it to the hotel in time for a very welcome hot meal. Walking in the snow after dinner was a wonderful experience, and watching families out tobogganing and snowballing together was an incredible sight.
Whilst getting ready for bed all I could hear was the sound of laughter, which was very heart warming and made me look forward to the day ahead!
After breakfast we set off in search of clues to find Santa. It is hard to describe the scenery; it was all so breathtakingly beautiful.
Driving through the forest we spotted clues that led us to the Magical Post Office where the elves sorted the mail. Stepping off the coach into thick snow we were greeted by Snowy Bowy, Wendy Wood and a few of the elves who guided us on the next part of our adventure.
Then it was time for some tobogganing and snow games. Walking up the steep hill and falling in the snow all added to the overall enjoyment!
After lunch we visited the reindeer farm and lots of the children were trying to identify Rudolph, but the guide explained that his nose only glows red when he is flying so it would be impossible to pick him out!
We fed the reindeer and were then taken on a sleigh ride through the forest. This was stunningly beautiful and very peaceful, and I didn’t want it to end.
After a hot berry juice around the fire to warm up we were off to ride snowmobiles and have some more fun tobogganing! The day ended with a well-earned Christmas dinner at the hotel before falling into bed to dream of finding Santa ......... zzzzzzzz
After an early pick up we headed straight to the husky farm where we learnt all about huskies.
The dogs were really sweet and very excited to see us. We suddenly found ourselves literally dashing through the snow on a very fast 6-dog sled ride, oh the fun we had, laughing all the way!
On our way to fill our tummies with lunch we stopped at the elves’ house for the final clue that would lead us to Santa.
We all joined in some more games with the elves, and then sat round eating some of Mrs Claus’ freshly baked cookies while the elves told us the story of Santa and the Little Tin Soldier.
As for finding Santa I leave it up to you to imagine what happened next…
Landing back in the UK I felt a little overwhelmed but with a very full heart.
Standing with new friends, covered head to toe in magic sparkles, and singing the Elf Song on repeat in my head made me realise that I will forever look back on this experience with the fondest of memories.
The whole trip had been planned with such attention to detail that every single person was made to feel special, and I feel extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to join some of our wish families on the trip of a lifetime.
I most certainly won’t forget the sound of laughter everywhere!