The children of Donegal are in for a special treat this year as the Donegal Railway Heritage Museum has pulled out all the stops to arrange for personalised video messages from Santa himself.

Niall McCaughan Museum Manager realised earlier on this year that the museums very successful ‘Santa Experience’ where children (big and small!) have come to visit Santa, Mrs Claus and his elves at their workshop in Donegal, while learning more about Donegal’s railway tradition, was not going to happen this year as a result of Covid.

‘’We realised pretty early on this year that our very popular Santa Experience would not be possible in its current form, but we still were very eager to keep the tradition alive. After a lot of thought about how we could continue in a safe environment for the families of Donegal, we figured that instead of coming to visit Santa, he can instead come to you.’’

Each weekday until Thursday December 17th parents or grandparents can contact Santa’s Elves at the museum and provide details of the child’s name and age and what they want for Christmas. Santa and Mrs Claus will then send a unique and personalised magical video message to give some Christmas cheer.

‘’The response we’ve received so far has been fantastic. People are just so keen to support businesses in the county and we have seen this too with the #BuyDonegal campaign. Everyone wants to give that little bit of festive cheer and Santa’s personalised message provides an opportunity for anyone to do this in the safety of their own homes. We’ve also heard some really thoughtful and heartfelt messages where callers have explained why and who they are doing this for. It really shows that the Christmas spirit, despite the challenges we’ve faced this year, is alive’’

This year many businesses across Donegal have faced the challenge of how they can innovate and adapt to remain trading in the landscape of the pandemic and Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Rena Donaghey has congratulated these businesses and organisations for their ingenuity and creativity.

“Throughout the county there have been many examples of organisations successfully reinventing themselves and doing so successfully. Donegal Railway Heritage Museum is just one of those, who have come up with a very creative approach to bring Santa directly to the homes of families across Donegal and beyond.  This is a great example of how Donegal businesses and organizations have adapted their offerings so that they can continue to trade in these very challenging circumstances.”

To arrange for a special Santa message call +353 (074) 9722655 between 10am-4pm until Thursday 17th December and provide a donation of €8 towards the funding of the campaign and experience. The event may now be extended as unsurprisingly, there has been considerable demand; check the museum’s Facebook for updates.

The museum also has a range of unique Donegal railway publications available for sale. Check out http://donegalrailway.com or http://buydonegal.com for further details.

Donegal Railway Heritage Musuem is a registered charity and they hope that next year Santa can return in this iconic location with his big shiny Polar Express steam engine, but for now he is much too busy with video messages and of course making toys!