Photograph by Tim Mossholder for Unsplash
Photograph by Tim Mossholder for Unsplash

How Santa Claus is (still) coming to town

On two Sundays in December Father Christmas and his elves will take to the streets of Canton

ON December 13 and 20 a small group of volunteers will walk with Santa through Canton hoping to spread joy to local children.

“It’s not going to be anything grand, no transport for Santa unfortunately, health and safety and Covid restrictions stopped some ideas, but Santa, some naughty elves, music and the children ringing their bells will hopefully bring some magic to the children this Christmas,” said Lisa Aherne, who organised the event.

“We’ve not chosen to stop in any parks or do a meet and greet as restrictions apply,” she added.

The group of four will start on Romilly Road at 2pm on both dates and then proceed along two pre-determined routes shown in the maps below.

The map outlining the two routes that Santa and volunteers will take in December. Designed by Sarah Vining.

As the group will be walking no exact timings can be shared, but Lisa said that she will post when they will set off and keep people up to date on their location with live videos.

On Facebook she advised parents and children to “listen out for the jingle bells”.

The list of streets Santa will visit. Also designed by Sarah Vining for the event

Children who live on the streets Santa will visit are encouraged to come outside and wave although all local children are encouraged to join throughout the day.

“We know your kids will be excited to see Santa, but please ensure they respect social distancing, and wave to him as he passes from a 2m distance,” the organisers advised parents.

“These events are weather permitting: in the event of very bad weather on the advertised dates, then we will do our best to reorganise Santa’s visit,” they added.

A dedicated Facebook group has been created for anyone interested to know more. It already has 260 members.

Lisa reached out to neighbours in a Canton Facebook group at the end of October, motivated by a desire to bring joy to local kids during lockdown.

“How could we organise Father Christmas to go around the streets so the children can see him from their houses?” she asked in her post.

“We’ve had a good response on Facebook and good feedback,” said Lisa adding that two women offered help.

Rhianwen Long said her partner, Osian Edwards, would be happy to help Santa, while Sarah Vining designed the posters and maps.

Osian has been helping out Santa Claus during the festive seasons for the past few years, making appearances at charity events and local libraries to share Christmas joy. 

“With so many other things cancelled and people staying away from each other I jumped at the chance [to help Santa these coming Sundays],” said Osian. “It’s a lovely thing just to spread some happiness.” 

“Children are so inventive, creative and unabashedly optimistic about everything,” he adds, saying that this is one of the reasons that apart from his work with Santa, he enjoys helping out at the Wales Millennium Centre’s learning hub.

A poster Sarah Vining designed for the event.

“Absolutely love this idea ❤️❤️❤️” commented Lucy Jones on Facebook.