We’re all singing ‘oh I wish it could be Christmas every day’ at this time of year, but when July comes around and we’re all enjoying hot weather and ice cream, it becomes clear most of us don’t really mean it.
There are few people out there who truly know what it means to make Wizzard’s wish come true, but 25-year-old Siera Conway became one of them when she got a job working as an elf and tour guide at Castle Noel in Medina, Ohio.
Described as ‘America’s Largest Indoor Christmas Entertainment Attraction’, Castle Noel welcomes guests to explore ‘the world’s largest privately owned collection of Hollywood Christmas movie props and costumes’, as well as animated Christmas window displays taken from famous New York shops, a ‘Blizzard Vortex Tunnel’, and even a Yeti.
It truly is a haven for Christmas fanatics, with Christmas ‘year round’ and the venue proving ‘busy’ even in the summer months, according to Siera. Guests are said to have remained in a ‘Christmas mood’ even when it was 35°C outside, with visitors sharing plans to ‘make cookies and watch Christmas movies’ after a day spent at Castle Noel.
While having one Christmassy day in summer is one thing, having it every single day is another. For each shift at work, Siera would dress in a costume reminiscent of the elves from the 1983 film A Christmas Story before spending hours taking photos of kids meeting Santa and listening to the odd requests and comments the children would make to her and her fellow elves.
Thankfully, the 25-year-old told UNILAD her outfit was ‘pretty comfortable’, and her favourite part about the job was getting to interact with children, as well as seeing ‘adults really get into the spirit and interact with Santa as though they were children’.
You might think that anyone who went to an entire facility dedicated to Christmas would be willing to get into the festive spirit, but Siera has revealed there still managed to be the ‘occasional Grinch’ in the form of someone who ‘just didn’t want to be there or talk to the elves or Santa’.
The culprit was usually an adult who would act ‘too old’ for the experience, but thankfully it didn’t ruin the experience for Siera, who has confirmed she would ‘definitely recommend’ the job to others.
Like any workplace, the former elf admitted Castle Noel could be ‘slightly draining at times’, but said ‘overall it was really fun to have Christmas year-round’.
I do not think that it ruined the Christmas spirit or excitement at all, if anything it really made it better.
Most of my family are adults now, so it was always nice to see Christmas through the eyes of a child again every day at work. It really helped add another level of magic to the whole Christmas season.
Siera described working as an elf as a ‘great way to get into the holiday spirit’, and noted there are ‘so many great interactions that you get to have with the kids and their families’.
She recalled children frequently asking her to be involved in their photo with Santa, as well as having kids ask if she was friends with their Elf on the Shelf doll. Many also asked her to guess the name of their elves, with Siera advising anyone who may be faced with the question in future that ‘nine times out of 10 it is Buddy’, in honour of Will Ferrell’s beloved Elf character.
Siera had to give up being a full-time elf when she moved cities, but after having spent seven years as one of Santa’s helpers, she’s certainly had her fair share of her Christmas fun!
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