We were coming home from an awesome walk/sled-ride through the forest, which had ended with some exciting sledding for K. Upon entering the apartment complex, the sweet old lady from the first floor came out and started chatting up K, of which none of us could understand as it was in Swedish. But, K doesn’t need Swedish when he sees someone holding out a toy catalogue for him to take, he marched right up to her, took the catalogue and continued to awkwardly climb the stairs in his big green snowsuit.
The toy catalogue turned out to be an advertisement from a cheap “everything” store, but had some very enticing toy ads, especially for some Marvel Comic action figurines; of which K immediately wanted Santa to bring him Spiderman. We explained that he had already given his letter to Santa asking for an “Everything” toy train set, (which I might add had already be procured and waiting delivery). K was adamant, he did not want a toy train set, he wanted Santa to bring him Spiderman. We had to write a new letter and before I knew it that is exactly what K and his mom were doing. Together, they cut out the picture from the ad, taped it to a piece of paper and wrote Dear Santa…
Now all we had to do was find a Santa. Luckily for us, there happened to be another Christmas Fair going on this weekend in the town of Hassleholm, which is about 45 minutes south of us. To top it off, the fair was to be held in a cave, or abandoned mine to be more exact. How cool is that?
It turned out to be very cool. The next day we found ourselves waiting in line to descend the steep metal stairs into the Tykropsgrottan Cave. I had M on my back, but after awkwardly climbing down the stairs while trying not to bang his head on the stone above, we found ourselves forced to squat low and scuttle through a few chambers and passageways. By this time I was holding M, still in his carrier, down between my legs as I tried not to bump him on the uneven ground and avoid knocking my own head on the carved ceiling. Soon we emerged into a slightly larger chamber where we stopped to get our bearings. The cave was lit by numerous candles, old lanterns, and strings of white Christmas lights. Off to one side was another narrow shaft that had icicle lights illuminating the passageway, there was a sign, but we couldn’t read it, and as all of the other people kept streaming down the main corridor, it was most natural for us to investigate further down this lonely passage.
As we slowly moved further into the new passageway, we began to make out a lone figure sitting in a chair under a dim light at the end of the tunnel. He had a long white beard and a red warm coat pulled around him, and he sat upon a chair. We whispered to K, “Look, its Santa.” His eyes lit up in wonder and his mouth opened in silent exclamation. We moved closer to the lone figure and K cautiously approached him. My wife had pulled out the new letter for Santa and gave it to K, who then approached and asked, “Are you Santa?” Before Santa could respond K handed him his letter and informed him that he did not want an “Everything” train set, but that he now wanted Spiderman to be brought on Christmas. Pleasantries were exchanged, pictures were taken, and M was brought to tears as Santa tried to make him smile.
Then we were shuffling back down the corridor and into a larger central chamber that had Christmas fair booths tucked into various nooks and side chambers. Unlike the other fairs we had been to, (one being in a castle and the other an eighteenth century manor), this was quite small and intimate and all the more special for that. While the other fairs featured a vast array of booths and stalls from professional fair goers and shops, this felt more like a neighborhood affair where each booth was set up by someone you knew, who just happened to have baked a whole bunch of Christmas treats just for this day.
After purchasing a few yummy baked treats, we meandered our way through the rest of the cave and ascended a long sloped tunnel to the surface. In total, we only spent about 45 minutes at this fair (including the pony ride K took after exiting the cave), which while not being that long was a perfect experience for us. K was completely enthralled with having found Santa in a cave and is still talking about it. As a family, it was really special to have such a unique experience without the mass crowds that we have found at the other Christmas Fairs we have journeyed to. And while I can’t say that this experience beats out Christmas in a Castle, Christmas in a Cave was pretty cool in its own right.
If you want to read about the other Christmas fairs we have visited please click on the following: