It does seem a long time ago now I admit, and I should have written about it before, but time, as it always seems to, just ran away with me. I refer of course to the wonderful day of Christmas Magic organised at The Salisbury Museum on 13 December last year.

And it was a magical day, very cold but sunny. The museum was packed – inside and out – by excited children and even more excited adults who were all entering into the spirit of the occasion, helped along by a sumptuously-dressed Father Christmas who generously managed to visit for the whole day with his sledge despite his busy preparations back at the North Pole.

But the star attractions, if Santa Claus will forgive me, were the beautiful reindeer who placidly accepted endless strokes and pats from the visitors and posed for countless photographs. They were obviously enjoying the attention and were unperturbed by the admiring crowd around them throughout the day.

There was an opportunity for children to make Christmas decorations and contribute to a giant paper chain in the lecture hall. For many, both adults and children, it was the first time they had been to the museum and it was good to hear so many favourable comments and intentions to return and look at the galleries properly.

As one of the many volunteers helping out, I was handing out leaflets at the entrance gate and welcoming people as they came in. It was nice to see how much people had enjoyed themselves but one little boy was in floods of tears as he was leaving and his mother was at a loss as to how to cheer him up.

“I want to see the giant, I was told there was a giant,” he sobbed. His mother told me that she had explained to him they had come to see Father Christmas and there was no giant. Aha! But there is, I told her. A quick visit back into the museum to the Salisbury Gallery to see the Medieval Giant and Hob Nob thrilled the child and harmony was restored.

It was a fun and rewarding way to spend a day, and a welcome change from the frantic lead-up to the festive season. Roll on Easter and the Eggstravaganza!

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