If you think last Christmas was a bit of a let down spare a thought for Father Christmas! With more than half his elves forced to work from home and many others furloughed last Christmas presented some significant challenges.
Then just as he thought things were getting back to normal in 2021 a late summer pingdemic just as all the Christmas orders needed to be placed meant recovery of his North Pole operations has not been an easy task.
And like many of the rest of us in the hospitality, retail and entertainment industries (his job encompasses all three) he has experienced significant supply chain issues combined with an unprecedented surge in customer demand and – dare we say – some pretty unrealistic customer expectations. His mailbag has never contained so many complaints (mostly from people whose sense of entitlement grew faster than their sense of frustration during lockdown, he reasons).
All this he has had to deal with against a backdrop of record numbers of elves leaving the festive industry to seek out a better work-life balance. Given that the North Pole is an entirely self-sustaining operation, a shortage of chef-elves, delivery-elves (particularly long distance ones) and medical elves have proved an additional headache for the big man.
However, he is, after all, a magical being and has managed to maintain his level of service and keep prices down, absorbing most of the additional burden of elfin wage increases, import tariffs and soaring energy costs.
He has even managed to navigate the dizzying array of Covid entry and exit requirements of the 195 countries he will visit on Christmas Eve – a feat he is confident he can achieve so long as the automatic passport scanners work.
Understandably, then, he feels the need of a break before the Christmas rush around the globe and has chosen his favourite castle for a two day break. But, being generous to a fault, he has agreed to meet some locals between 2pm and 5pm on both days he is here. As an added bonus he is bringing his chief elf with him.
It is, indeed an honour for us to be able to host the real Father Christmas at Augill and we’re sure you recognise the unique opportunity this brings for the whole community.
He has promised a 100% eco-friendly sustainable quality gift for every child he meets.
So, if you’d like to join us for afternoon tea on Tuesday 21 or Wednesday 22 December and book a visit to Father Christmas, drop us a line or give us a call on 01768 341937.
Christmas afternoon tea is £20 for anyone over the age of twelve and £20 for children under twelve including a visit to Father Christmas and a quality gift (Father Christmas’ knees simply won’t take anyone older!)