15th December 2017
On a cold, crisp & snowy Monday morning in December with temperatures at -7c almost 150 excited Kings & Queens of Narnia arrived in their carriages ready to walk through the wardrobe door, in the distance at the end of the long drive way the children could make out Cair Paravel (the stunning Glamis Castle) and the famous Lamppost, as they drew closer very familiar faces were there ready to greet them…
Everybody’s favourite Faun; Mr Tumnus & the Ice Queen (from the amazing Gravity Live), Princess Elsa & Anna, Prince Charming, Princess Ariel (from the awesome Love RaRa), Father Christmas & Mrs Claus; who brought along some of their reindeer for the day and friends were all waiting to welcome them to Narnia. Not forgetting a very important and wonderful person….. the lovely Lady Mary the Dowager Countess of Strathmore was standing ready with all the staff to welcome everyone to her family home for the day.
Before the door of the castle was opened a wonderful group photo of everyone including the Reindeer was taken on the steps of the Castle.
With that done Mr Tumnus invited the children to walk through the door into the magical Cair Paravel.
Armed with their mystical vouchers the kings and queens went off in all directions, exploring, taking part in activities and making endless precious memories.
The day was a day for taking everything at their own pace we only asked that they kept an eye on the clock for Christmas Lunch and their magical invitation to meet Father Christmas.
Cair Paravel created some of the most amazing moments of magic throughout the day… in the grand dining room the roaring fire was keeping everyone cosy, whilst they decorated their Christmas Baubles and learnt the art of Christmas Penguin Origami. Leading them through the door to our Frozen themed photocube where the children got a chance to have a photo taken with Princess Elsa & Anna and to collect their cuddly Olaf as a gift to them all the way from the Kingdom of Arendelle.
Mr Tumnus and the Ice Queen were also on hand to meet & greet the children at the “Lamppost stop” where the children exchanged their voucher for a brown paper parcel from Mr Tumnus, inside was a copy of the film itself; Disney’s The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe.
Finding their way through the castle the children followed the sounds of Christmas carols and found themselves in a very cosy room with large sofas, roaring fire, throws, Reindeer taking shelter from the cold, Nutcracker soldiers and where festive Ginger bread biscuit decorating was taking place and on the other side was the amazing facepainting. Favourite faces of the day were Reindeer, Penguins and mystical Unicorns.
A delicious traditional 2 course Christmas Lunch with all the trimmings was served to all the Kings & Queens throughout the afternoon, where the sticky toffee pudding was a great hit with everyone.
Father Christmas had sent out very special and magical invitations for the children & their families to meet both himself and Mrs Claus at their Scottish Grotto Retreat. Welcoming them to their cosy livingroom the children went in armed with their letter to him to make sure he knew what they would like for Christmas. We believe that everyone made it onto the “nice List”. Each family had a private meeting with Father Christmas in the grotto, with each King or Queen of Narnia receiving a special bag of goodies from him. The family also had a photo taken of themselves with Father Christmas and Mrs Claus by the very talented photographer, John Linton.
With day drawing to a close and the sunlight going down over Narnia there was just a few more activities to be done, Everyone made their way up to the Festive disco in the historic drawing room of the castle for lots of dancing and singing along to all the favourites and a lot of Christmas tunes!! Smiles & laughter was had by all! After a wonderful day in Narnia all the children, families, volunteers, characters gathered in the dining room for a wonderful moment of thanks.
Each person as a way of thanks to Lady Mary the Dowager Countess of Strathmore and her family for inviting everyone to the family home sang everyone's favourite carol “Away in a Manger” to her and then Father Christmas presented her with a wonderful bouquet of Flowers, there wasn’t a dry eye in Narnia.
The day ended where it started on the steps of the Castle with everyone gathered, new friends made and endless memories created, with the castle all lit up in blue, the snow falling we invited one of our very special and courageous Wish children to press the magic button that started our incredible fireworks display celebrating what had been a wonderful time together….We think you could possibly have seen our display from space
As everyone boarded the carriages and the Wardobe door closed for the last time everyone knew that once you are a king or queen of Narnia, you’re always a king or queen of Narnia.
Narnia was such a special day for everyone involved. It was a day where we could invite just some of Scotland’s brave, courageous and most deserving children to walk through the wardrobe door.
The day gave families much needed time away from hospitals and the gruelling treatments the Wish children face on a daily basis, it not only gives our Wish Children the chance of escapism but also gives their parents and siblings the chance to come together as a family and enjoy a day that created the most magical memories through what is an exceptionally difficult time in their lives. We are thrilled that we were in position to create Narnia and we are forever grateful to all our amazing supporters, volunteers and companies who were involved in bringing Narnia to fruition, simply without them we would not have been in a position to open the Wardrobe Door.
If you would like help create our 2018 Christmas treat through fundraising, charity partnership or could offer to support to our day in some way, please contact the Scotland office, we would love to hear from you.
0131 273 4344 | Scotland@whenyouwish.org.uk
Moment’s cherished mean so much to the children and their families a lovely message from Rhys and his family
Rhys & family:
We all had a fabulous time being creative at both the art table and biscuit decorating, having a photo with frozen, fabulous face painting and of course meeting Santa. Santa was lovely and took the time to speak with us all. The conversation did not feel rushed in anyway. Rhys endures so much over the year with all his Hospital appointments and sadly lives each day with the side effects of his treatment which affects his day to day life. It was great to see him have such fun and forget about everything else. All the helpers were very patient with the children and each and everyone had a smile.
Rhys was diagnosed with a Brain Tumour on 23rd December and we spent that Christmas in Hospital preparing for his operation, scans have also fallen around this time and overshadowed the Christmas period as we await the results. Rhys's Grandad was diagnosed with Cancer the Christmas after Rhys so sadly Christmas lost its sparkle for a while but thanks to amazing charities like When You Wish Upon A Star the sparkle has returned and we will be eternally grateful.
Thanks again for everything.