When I was a child, my parents took my sister and me to a magical place for children to explore and adults to reminisce about their youth. The place was Santa’s Land in Putney, Vermont.
The 41 acre park opened in 1957. Families could explore the park while riding the train, stopping along the way to visit the animals or write a letter to Santa at Santa’s Schoolhouse. Of course, the main attraction is walking thru the Elf House to meet the jolliest of all elves- Santa Claus!
In 2011, the owners of Santa’s Land, Tim & Leslie Wells, announced the park would be closing. However, in 2012, a generous benefactor came forward and Santa’s doors were reopened just in time for the 2012 season. Many volunteers came forward to help maintain the many rides and cottages. Santa’s Land remained a family tradition for many until the end of the 2013 season.
Unfortunately, Santa’s Land has closed its doors again, amid accusations of animal cruelty and bankruptcy. The sugar plum homes are facing disrepair and the gates to a magical place now say ‘No Trespassing’. Many have started Facebook pages to help save Santa’s Land. Others have posted their childhood stories of visiting Santa’s Land, and hoped to return with their children or grandchildren some day.
Will someone save Santa’s Land? This is my grown-up Christmas wish.