Watch: Magical mischief afoot at Fota and Santa needs your help

Taking a stroll down Candycane Lane, drinking a hot chocolate and looking at all the twinkly lights when I turned a corner and came face-to-face with none other than Dasher and Dancer themselves.

It’s the best-kept secret of the North Pole that those two like to spend their free time in their festive home away from home, Seek at Fota Island Resort.

Santa and his elves at Seek

Since I’ve been trying to be an especially good girl this year, Santa and his crew of hardworking elves asked me if I would like to visit Seek a little bit early this year to see them putting everything together in Christmastown.

This is the sixth year that Santa and his hardworking crew have chosen to be in Fota Island Resort.

Christmastown is where everything Christmassy - except presents - are made and it is a hive of activity leading up to the big day.

There’s a problem this year, though: the Christmastown subway is broken and Santa needs as many boys and girls to help fix it or there will be no decorations for Christmas!

“We have a problem this year,” said Seamus Leahy, Marketing Director of Fota Island Resort and Santa’s PR representative in Cork.

“We can’t get to Christmastown because there’s a cards machine broken. The cards machine is the system that gets you to Christmastown.

“The boys and girls need to help Santa and need to help a lady called Beatrice Cogsworthy to fix this cards machine so all these things can be delivered on time for Christmas.

“Hopefully they’ll be able to help and I think the elves will help them along their way. If they fix the cards machine they’ll come and see a place called Christmastown, which is a beautiful place.”

As Seamus was talking, I thought I was a little bit of snow start to fall. Could it be?

“I saw Alabaster Snowball over there a while ago and Sprinkles McGreenfingers, they were having fun putting some snow out. I think Snow McFlurry is in charge of that but she’s at work putting snow out,” Seamus told me.

He’s not sure how much snow is forecast to fall in human measurements, but he described it as “sleighloads”.

All the elves are hard at work in Fota Island getting ready for all their visitors.

“There’s hundreds of elves around the place today. They’re really excited. They’re putting the last few decorations, a few bits of tinsel, there’s a few lights going up.

“I even saw one or two reindeer shimmying up trees, put up stars on the top. It’s very exciting.

“There’s a lot of different things going on. What you’ll find is they seem to work 24 hours a day. They’re always laughing, they’re always chattering, they’re always up to all sorts of mischief. It’s really, really fun.”

This is the sixth year that Santa and his hardworking crew have chosen to be in Fota Island Resort. Hundred and hundreds of elves applied to Santa but only 200 will be staying in Christmastown this year.

Seek at Fota Island Resort is opening this weekend and it will run until December 23.

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