As Destination Mom, I have had the opportunity to report on a number of fantastic family get-away destinations; but this one by far has my vote for most breathtaking and magical! Now, not everyone can get into Santa's workshop at the North Pole; but luckily, the big man himself just happens to be a loyal Travel-Tot blog reader! He contacted me via e-mail to ask if I would like to sneak a peek at the busy hustling and bustling going on at the North Pole this time of year in exchange for a blog shout-out! It was an invitation I couldn't resist!
St. Nick was kind enough to pick me up in his amazing sleigh, and after a chilly journey (which seemed to last only a few brief moments!), we hopped out and he took me by the hand as I, in sheer awe, entered the great door of his magnificent workshop mansion, which was flanked by majestic ice sculptures (artist's interpretation see left). As we entered the great hall, there were scores of elves busily working everywhere; making toys, stocking shelves, wrapping gifts, checking inventory, feeding the reindeer, tidying up, and just generally making merry!
These cheerful little magic-folk were in almost constant motion, and I noticed right away that they were very safety conscious! I was very impressed as Santa showed off his workshop's OSHA certification as a permanent SHARP member (an honor granted to small businesses with exemplary illness and injury prevention programs!) and was thrilled to see that Santa had extensive elf-proofing and safety measures in place all throughout the workshop (pinch protectors on that big heavy door, padded hearth around his fireplace, cord guards for the reindeer reins, and even booster seats in his sleigh for his helper elves who accompany him on Christmas Eve)!
|the reindeer room (featuring Rudolph)|
After I had a full tour of the workshop, Santa invited me into his living area for hot cocoa. It was a modest space, housing only a large bed, a small table and chairs, and a fireplace. At the far end of the room was a hallway that led to the more expansive elf and reindeer housing (artist's rendering see left). We sat and talked a while about Christmas and magic and love, and he explained how important it is to keep the spirit of Christmas always in your heart; especially now, when e-mail, cell phones, texting and social media have replaced so much personal, human contact.
Then, Santa leaned back with a knowing smile and imparted in a hush, that he believed spreading joy, love, and understanding was more than just a job; it was an honor and a responsibility. "You see," he told me, "I have watched for millennia as humanity slowly grew and matured from fearful, selfish creatures into beings increasingly capable of compassion, kindness, and love." "And," he went on "while not everyone is there yet, I know in my heart that it is possible; for what binds people together is stronger than what divides them."
We visited for a while longer, but soon it was time to go, so we bundled back into the sleigh and set off. Before long, we reached my doorstep and he stilled the reindeer. As I carefully stepped down from the sleigh, I turned and thanked him for our magical visit. Santa gave me a joyful smile and patted my hand with grandfatherly reassurance, and, with a twinkle in his eye, warmly wished me a Merry Christmas.
May magic, joy, and peace fill your home this holiday season! Safe and happy holidays!