Santa visits Hemel Hempstead family for ‘extra special’ visit as mum saves money on grotto trip

The dad-of-five dressed up as Father Christmas
Santa meeting the boysSanta meeting the boys
Santa meeting the boys

A Hemel Hempstead mum invited Santa to visit her children as she opted for a cheaper Christmas surprise, compared to a traditional grotto.

31-year-old Sammy Jamieson has three children, Tommy, Connor and Immy, and had found grotto experiences difficult in the past. She said: "I didn’t want to waste money on an experience which wasn’t going to be positive. The boys have reacted badly after hours of queuing, and I didn’t want a repeat of that this year.”

With the cost-of-living crisis making many tighten their budgets, Sammy wanted a Christmas alternative that would be just as special for the children. She explained: “I thought it would be good if Santa could come to us. I had heard of Airtasker before as one of my friends had used it so thought I would give it a go and posted in search of a Santa, and it worked out perfectly for us.”

Through Airtasker, Sammy found 31-year-old Ashley Thomas from Hemel Hempstead. Ashley said: "I had the costume from last year which I used to surprise my kids, and then saw Sammy’s request on Airtasker and thought it was the perfect way to make some extra money ahead of Christmas.”

Santa turned up at Sammy’s door with some presents for the kids. Sammy explained: “They loved it. It went exactly as I wanted it to, they were so excited to see Santa and it felt extra special that he came and visited them at home.”

She continued: “They also loved the toys they got, which was another reason I wanted to do it this way. I was able to able to provide the gift so I knew it was something they would like and keep.”

The mum encouraged other parents to do the same for their children this Christmas. Sammy said: “Save yourself the headache of going to a grotto and spending ages stuck in a queue. Have them come to you.” But she warned: “Make sure it’s safe, and I was able to ask Ashley about his DBS check before which was all fine as he works in a school.”

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