Twas the day before Christmas and I’m going to tell you a story. So gather your cats and settle in.
One year just before Christmas when I was about 7 or 8, my mom announced she was going to take me and my friend Steph to Santa’s Village for the day.
Santa’s Village is a theme park in Bracebridge, Ontario, and it is exactly how it sounds. It is a Christmas amusement park. Santa is there, and I assume all his elves, Mrs. Claus, Christmas-themed rides, etc. In Bracebridge it’s a pretty big deal.
And obviously if you’re a kid it is very exciting. I was already off the charts excited for Christmas, so add in Santa and Christmas rides and I was losing my mind. I had seen the Santa’s Village commercial. It sounded like a good time and I was PUMPED.
We piled into the minivan ready for our adventure.
It was about a two and half hour drive from where we lived so we spent the trip singing Christmas carols and excitedly exclaiming what we were going to do when we arrived at Santa’s village. And what we were going to ask Santa for when we saw him.
Now, it must be noted that this was before the internet existed, so one could not simply Google Santa’s Village to plan a trip. My mom had just heard about it and wanted to take us. She may have questioned this decision during the long drive there…but the trip was impromptu. My mom was flying by the seat of her pants.
We passed by the many signs leading the way to Santa’s Village, getting more excited the closer we got. Finally, we arrived. And this is what we saw.
Santa’s Village is only open in the summer. The Christmas theme park isn’t actually open at Christmas. It was a total National Lampoon’s Vacation moment. We drove all that way only to find it closed, just like Wally’s World. I will never forget the feeling of disappointment. My mom was absolutely devastated for us. What kind of Santa’s Village isn’t open during Christmas?! WHO CARES ABOUT SANTA IN JULY?! It ruined Santa’s Village for me and to this day I still haven’t been (but I hear it’s crappy and rundown now anyway).
So what were we to do? Rather than break in and go on the rides, my mom took us to the dollar store, gave us $10 each and let us go crazy in there. It obviously wasn’t as good as seeing Santa, but it was still a good time. And I should mention that while not funny at the time, my mom and I think this is hilarious now.
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! I hope you have a great holiday with your families and friends!