My Center Parcs history
I’ve been an elf all my life, but have worked at Center Parcs with Santa for eight years. We often get adults and other non-believers ask: “If you’re an elf, why aren’t you at the North Pole?” Well, everyone needs a break once in a while – even Santa Claus – so he decided around a decade ago that he would stay Center Parcs for six weeks before Christmas and set up his Woodland Workshop here. It’s a great way for us elves to practice our toy-making and we love to meet all the children in the run up to the big day. It also gives thousands of little ones the chance to make any last-minute requests to Santa that they may have missed off their list.
My typical day-to-day
Being an elf, I don’t need too much sleep as I’m so full of energy all the time. Without it we wouldn’t be able to make so many toys for Christmas. My morning routine involves me hopping out of bed and putting on my favourite red and green outfit before eating a bowl of cereal sprinkled with magic dust.
The other elves and I make sure we’re at the Woodland Workshop for 9.30am each day to give us plenty of time to get ready before Santa arrives. As Head Elf it’s my responsibility to ensure all the toys are ready to hand out to the children throughout the day. While I’m doing this and making Santa’s morning cup of tea, my team of elves check the Woodland Workshop is looking wonderful.
After that we get to do the fun bit: meet and greet the children. Once that door opens, it gets incredibly busy because Santa is a really popular man. The elves and I love what we do but it can make us a little bit sleepy; last weekend we welcomed more than 650 children in just one day!
My most memorable experience
I’m really lucky to meet so many wonderful little ones and their families each year. For Christmas the only thing I wish for from Santa is to continue staying at Center Parcs during Winter Wonderland; it’s my favourite time of year. But if I had to choose one highlight, it would probably be one from just a couple of weeks ago.
When You Wish Upon A Star, a charity that grants wishes for very sick children, came to stay at Sherwood Forest. We felt very fortunate to have them here as historically the charity have visited Lapland each December. The children and their families stayed for a weekend break, in their own Lodge, and enjoyed many activities including a visit to Santa Claus at his Woodland Workshop. It was a privilege to introduce the children – around 160 of them – to Santa, as I know it may be the last Christmas for some. I witnessed true family togetherness that day. That’s what the spirit of Christmas is really about.