"I saw the Santa van on Facebook a few years ago. Due to Covid-19, no one could go to see Santa, so I booked it for my neighbours and my family."
December 14, 2022
"I saw the Santa van on Facebook a few years ago. Due to Covid-19, no one could go to see Santa, so I booked it for my neighbours and my family."— Laura O'Connor from Hazelbrook, Rathnew, organised a Santa visit for kids in the estate. This year, the community made a whole evening of the event and came together to turn on the Christmas tree lights and sing carols.
"I saw the Santa van on Facebook a few years ago. Due to Covid-19, no one could go to see Santa, so I booked it for my neighbours and my family. When he came down, once we had gone to see him in the van, there was a queue of about 100 kids outside. The queue snaked around the block.
He is brilliant, he brings an elf with him. The elf is such a character, he keeps the crowd going. The van is so nice. It’s a transit van, but the way they’ve done it it’s like a Christmas cubby, there’s a fake fire and everything. It’s lovely. He also gives the kids a really nice present, a bag full of toys. The craic and the pictures are good too. He has a gift shop as well with sweets and things. He has made us his last stop over the last few years so he can spend lots of time with us. Santa is really nice. They have speakers and Christmas music and everything, it’s really atmospheric. This year, he’s also doing a private visit for a child with Autism who has issues with crowds.
We didn’t tell the kids that he was on his way the first time he came. I opened my kitchen curtains and you could see him driving in under the arch. He pulled into the estate and all the kids started running after him. Last year was exciting, because everyone knew he was coming. Back then, there were still restrictions like keeping distance and wearing masks. It’s going to be different this year!
I have everything sorted for Christmas now. I come from a big family and have seven nieces and nephews, and there are six of us. My kids are close to their cousins, they see them every day. I’ll have about 30 over for Christmas this year. I’ll be cooking but my mam is doing the turkey. My family will bring drinks, desserts and presents for the kids. This Christmas will be extra special because my cousin who has been quite ill for the last while, will be home for it. Last Christmas was tough because he was still in hospital. We’re so happy to have him in good health."
Co-operative Housing Ireland is an Approved Housing Body (AHB) and works closely with various stakeholders in the housing sector, including Local Authorities, Government, aspiring home owners, tenants and developers, to provide high quality social-rented and home ownership co-operative homes across the country. CHY 6522 Registered Charity Number 20012182