Last week I was one of Santa’s little elves.
Meeting outside the Swan, we followed Santa on his sleigh, merrily ho, ho, ho-ing our way up and down the streets collecting money for the Round Table and local organisations.
And what a splendid night was had by all.
First of all I have to congratulate the Round Table.
The Santa round has been happening in Thame for as long as I can remember and as a kid I can recall hearing the music blaring at the bottom of the road and the bright lights drawing ever closer as my poor old mum tried to find her purse to reward Santa’s helpers as they came to the door.
This was the first time I had experienced this from the other side, wielding my collection tin and knocking on doors, and I have to say it was a joyous occasion.
The look on the little children’s faces as Santa waved at them was perfect for getting me in the festive mood. And the grannies who waved just as happily and swore they had been good ALL year were almost as delightful.
Santa was in sprightly form, leaping out and pounding down garden paths if any of us called out to him to come and see someone.
He set a tremendous pace and although we were a particularly fit bunch of elves there were times I struggled to keep up.
At one point I lost the sleigh all together and was slightly embarrassed to say, ‘hello we are collecting for the Round Table, Merry Christmas’ when all the person answering the door could see was me in an elf hat.
Reunited with Father Christmas we soon worked out that the houses with most lights were more likely to give generously, meaning one or two minor skirmishes among the helpers to get to the door first.
Competitive collecting at its finest.
Naturally not everyone was pleased to see us.
I had more time for the lady who simply told me, ‘no sorry, that’s not my sort of thing,’ than those of you who twitched the curtains then turned the lights off.
Shame on you!
There were one or two Christmas parties going on and those people loved the Santa element of the night.
My favourite was the two little girls who danced with gap-toothed joy as they saw what was happening.
I didn’t realise how it worked, but each night is devoted to a different local organisation or charity, and they help the Round Table collect.
Two hours in the cold raised a significant sum for our cause, and I want to raise a glass to every person who helped by either collecting, organising or giving.
Your Good Elf. Merry Christmas.