My Dad is a wonderful man. He worked hard his entire life, starting out as an apprentice, and working his way up. He's now retired and apart from doing some part - time work (he found no job at all a bit much so he's still doing bits and pieces) he's enjoying living off the fruits of his hard work.
When he knew my sister and nieces were going to be over for Christmas he wanted to do something super - special. A friend of his had done a day trip to a little village in Lapland and really enjoyed it and my Dad decided he wanted to treat us all to the same, not just my sister and nieces, but my other sister and our husbands too. So at 3:40am yesterday we got up and flew to one of the most magical days I've ever had. The village was very small with just one coach of tourists arriving a day so it wasn't overcrowded. There was only about 2 hours of daylight and once it was dark everywhere was gently lit with fires, candles and white fairy lights.
We had a husky dog ride and a reindeer ride. The animals seemed extremely well cared for and not overworked in the slightest. I am a huge animal lover so took the time to chat to the local people running the rides about the animals and you could see they were genuinely well cared for. We also did skidoo riding (dh drove!) and went on a very special lamplit walk into the woods to meet Father Christmas. The children did sledging and snowman building and at -15 we took plenty if breaks for hot drinks and a traditional meal.
Before we new it, it was time to go home. All the kids crashed out on the plane and it did seem a long time back, especially as dh and I had 1hr30 drive back from my parents after we landed.
We got in at 1:15am exhausted, but happy after our very special day :)