TWO Northern Ireland families will soon be packing their bags for a magical trip of a lifetime to Lapland to visit Santa Claus, courtesy of leading convenience retailers, SuperValu and Centra.
The ‘Postcard to Santa’ campaign, in conjunction with Terra Travel and Kellogg’s, encouraged children to write a postcard to Santa and post it in a special Christmas letter box in stores across Northern Ireland, with two families being chosen to experience a fairy-tale day trip to the North Pole.
Ciara McGrath, along with her three children Katie, aged 8, Ryan, aged 11 and Mark Óg, aged 7 were selected as winners from Murray’s Centra, Toome; whilst Roy Hall, his partner Emma and children Jaidon, aged 3 and Brooke, aged 7 were chosen as the lucky winners from Morrow’s SuperValu, Lurgan.
Both families will be whisked away, just a week before Christmas, to the winter wonderland of Rovaniemi, the official hometown of Santa Claus in Finland.
Their enchanting adventure will include a husky sled ride, the chance to meet Rudolph and his friends, a wander around Santa’s village with playtime in the snow and, most importantly, a private meeting with Santa Claus, where the children will have the chance to make any last-minute Christmas requests and receive a special gift.
For Ciara and her family, the trip was a dream come true. She said: “I was in a total state of shock when I found out we had won and honestly didn’t believe it. I’ve never won anything like this in my life. I am beyond excited, maybe even more than the children!”
Emma, from Lurgan, was also delighted to hear the good news, and had never expected that they would win for a second.
She said: “We’re happy, excited and completely overwhelmed to have won. We didn’t expect to win and even had to get a last-minute passport for one of the children but now we are ready to go and can’t wait. It will be the perfect start to Christmas.”
Brendan Gallen, Head of Marketing at Musgrave, was delighted to be able bring a bit of festive cheer to the families ahead of the Christmas holidays. He said:
“We received a fantastic response to this year’s ‘Postcard to Santa’ competition and would like to thank everyone who took the time to enter. Every child’s dream is to visit the North Pole, and we are delighted to help put a smile on the faces of these two families this Christmas.
“The prize, complete with sparkling snow, a visit to Rudolph and his reindeer friends and the chance to meet Santa Claus, is the perfect way to kick-start the Christmas holidays for both families, and we hope that it will be a memory that they will treasure forever.”