Virtual Santa’s Night Before Christmas is a sign of the times

A special reading by Santa Claus of Clement Clark Moore’s “A Visit from St. Nicholas, more commonly known as “The Night Before Christmas”, is to be released by Falkirk Community Trust this Christmas Eve alongside two special editions including British Sign Language and Makaton translations. The move opens up the traditional Christmas bedtime story to 120,000 children around the UK who communicate solely using the sign-based languages.

The readings are part of a series of festive bedtime stories read by Santa and Mrs Claus which have been released throughout December and have already reached approximately 2 million people since they were first released by Falkirk Community Trust.

The inspiration for the online bedtime stories came when the Trust’s more traditional Christmas Adventure at Callendar House was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The team at Falkirk Community Trust sent an urgent letter to Santa to see if he would be able to help them out by reading some fantastic bedtime stories to the children of Falkirk and beyond. Santa and Mrs Claus responded, saying they were only too happy to get involved, with the world’s most famous couple subsequently paying a magical visit to Callendar House to read the stories beside their magnificent Christmas tree.

The readings have been a runaway hit with children and parents who have watched the first two bedtime stories, Julia Donaldson’s ‘Stick Man’ and ‘Gruffalo in Scots’, over the last three weeks. The Trust is hoping that millions of children across the world will be able to tune in to watch and listen to Santa before he starts his all-important journey around the world.

Maureen Campbell OBE, Chief Executive for Falkirk Community Trust commented:

“We’re so excited that Santa and Mrs Claus were able to help us out. We know this year has been tough for everyone but, thanks to unlimited travel restrictions in the magical world, both Santa and Mrs Claus were able to visit Callendar House and our specialist team of elves were able to capture their stories on film. We’re even more excited that, thanks to interpreters, we’ve been able to capture these stories in both British Sign Language and Makaton, the leading language programme used by adults and children with learning or communication difficulties.”

The readings are being shared on Falkirk Community Trust’s Facebook channels and also on their website at https://www.falkirkcommunitytrust.org/whats-on/we-love-christmas/ and all children, wherever they may be, are very welcome to tune in.