24 December 2010 by Julienne du Toit

I’m Dreaming of a Storms River Christmas

Every year in December, the little forest village of Storms River is abuzz with people swinging through the trees on canopy tours, backpackers hiding in hammocks with thick airport novels (better than being back home in a snow-bound airport right now) and the kids of Storms River Adventures waiting for The Day.

It’s been a good year for the adventure company. They’ve won a number of awards for their responsible tourism endeavours. There’s a good vibe at their offices.

When The Day comes, local godmother-to-children-and-dogs Fiona Green and Anneline Wyatt, MD of Storms River Adventures, hive off to the company’s backpackers’ and begin to set up for the Christmas Party.

They’ve already done the really hard work, which is to negotiate the gnarly Port Elizabeth Yuletide traffic to various wholesalers to buy bags of goodies for more than 60 children. Now each present has been named and stashed and the party snacks have to be prepared.

By noon, it’s like the Storming of the Bastille over at the backpackers’. The chillums can’t wait to get in and sit on the Santa Throne. This year’s Santa was the super-cool Mitchell Abrahams and he did the job so well he’s already been hired for 2011.

As the sugar-highs take hold and the opening (or should that just be ripping up?) of the presents proceeds on the lawn outside, there is the general childhood frenzy of wanting to play with everything - at once.

And somewhere at the back of the crowd is the CEO of Storms River Adventure, Ashley Wentworth, with a smile on his face. Everyone knows he’s the real Santa of Storms River…

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