"When, what to my wondering eye should appear,
but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick."
-From 'The Night before Christmas' by Clement C. Moore
Yesterday afternoon we took the Podlings to the Trentham Estate shopping village where we had heard you could see some real reindeer. Sure enough, there were two reindeer outside the Santa's grotto, both of whom conformed to the 'tiny reindeer' of the poem. One of them was actually still quite a baby and certainly won't be pulling any sleighs this Christmas eve! The Podlings were all thrilled to see some real reindeer and whilst we hadn't once tried to tell them that these were Father Christmas's actual reindeer, Lily's parting shot to them was "See you on Christmas Eve!".
After seeing the reindeer we wandered round the shopping village and picked up a couple of extra gifts before heading off to Sainsbury's to pick up some milk. Who should be waiting outside Sainsbury's but Father Christmas himself, courtesy of the Lions Club. Lily and Tom had a sudden attack of shyness and hid behind me when we went over to see him. I suspect Lily was shy because she had been a bit of a monkey all afternoon and didn't want to be asked if she had been a 'good girl' by the man with the naughty list! Emma, on the other hand, wasn't in the least bit shy and went right up to him. Her bravery was rewarded in the form of a lollipop, which is about all Emma wants for Christmas anyway...she loves them that much! All in all a very festive afternoon!