Santaland was in town last week, but not as we have come to know it.
And although Julie Morton was dressed as the Grinch of Cromwell Santaland for the event, she was not the real grinch – COVID was.
“It was not quite how we had spent all year planning and making props for” says Julie, adding, “But on the upside, we are totally sorted for next year!”
This year Santaland offered photos with Santa, but it was not the extravaganza of past years.
Instead, under the traffic light system, people were required to abide by the restrictions placed in our region, show vaccine passes and wear face masks.
There were a few displays in the hall, but plenty of room was left to ensure that everyone remained socially distant.
Mother Christmas knitted as she waited patiently for Father Christmas to finish his chats.
Santa’s helpers still managed to make our local children happy, as they lined up for their talk with the fully vaccinated Santa, their photographs and their treats.
There was no sitting on Santa’s knee, either, as restrictions meant that they sat on the wooden stools in front of his beautiful sleigh.
There was a bonus in that too – less crying at being so close to the long white beard made the photographer’s task easier.
“It’s quieter than normal,” says Julie, “but everything is different – it is a different type of year this year.”
The Santaland committee were just happy that they could arrange for children to still visit Santa and experience some Christmas joy.
Hopefully, next year Santaland can return to the magical full, interactive display the committee work so hard to bring to us every year.