The polar circle. Cold and freezing. At first, the landscape looks unwelcoming, everything is blanketed with endless snow and one could freeze down to the bone. Despite all that, a number of hearts melted here over the first December weekend. Hearts rejoicing in meeting all of those taking the most dutiful care of our Christmas happiness every year – Santa, his elves, and the majestic kings of Lappish fauna – the flying reindeers.

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The last stage of our “expedition” has come. The KAROQ car fleet arrived with boots full of children’s well-wishing letters for Santa. His village also welcomed kids that have written Santa wishes and won a dreamy weekend with him and his eleven helpers. As soon as the kids reached the place, they were comfortably accommodated along with their parents. And suddenly, a weekend full of magical adventures started to unfold. The children’s cheeks were burning not only from the strong cold but also from the eager anticipation about what’s going to go down in Rovaniemi.

The excitement took over as soon as the kids learned they’re going to visit a reindeer safari. In order for them to feel comfortable and to keep the cold off, they wrapped themselves into special arctic outfits. Such an “armor” helped them face the omnipresent Snow Queen who rules here all year long and the first adventure could begin. The reindeers were already hitched so together they could all embark on a ride through the silent and stunningly snow-white Lappish landscape. The beauty of it was simply charming and the passengers’ amazement never-ending! The atmosphere was intensified through the sound of crunching snow that made way for reindeers’ hooves and the sleighs’ metal skids as their carried our small adventurers.

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The road led our little, now slightly shivering polar explorers out of deep woods back into the village, straight into Santa’s post office. The quietness of Lappish forests was swiftly changed for a literal bustle. With the brisk Christmas tunes in the background, swarms of elves had their hands full of sorting letters, hiding children’s wishes from all over the world. Our children could see with their own eyes how demanding could the pre-Christmas season be for Santa and his faithful helpers. This made them look forward to giving him something they wished for him even more.

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The next stop was an underground cave, which was a definite proof that real treasures can be hiding even under the almost impenetrable, frozen-solid earth’s crust. The little visitors received a huge, warm welcome from another group of elves. The only thing we know about those is that they live exactly 99 years. Everything else the children needed to keep a secret. Afterwards, the kids had a time of their life in Mrs Gingerbread’s bakery where they could decorate the sweet pastries themselves. Under the icebound surface of the Magical Forest, the children were also admiring the beauty of the Ice Gallery that suddenly opened in front of them and surrounded them by a sparkling palette of iridescent colors.

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The day was slowly coming to an end and the polar expedition was awaiting the eagerly-anticipated meeting with Santa himself, right at his office. This was the perfect time for the parents, who came as ambassadors of their countries, to give Santa all wishes that their local kids wrote and sent. Besides this, the little visitors read Santa their wishes by themselves, which earned them the title of “Santa’s Honorary Helpers” and a group picture. Both will surely warm their hearts for a long time to come and belong among the greatest childhood treasures.

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This whole fairy-tale and unforgettable day reached its peak by the night-time campfire that was accompanied by the mystically stunning glow of Aurora Borealis. This almost dream-like experience created the proverbial cherry on top of the whole expedition, which successfully reached its goal and showed Santa that people think of him with the same warmth and generosity as he thinks of them. You too can spare him a thought when you sit down at this year’s Christmas table.

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