July and August are the peak months for tourists flocking to Annecy to spend all their tourist money on ice creams, live entertainment, paddle-boats and admission fees. Ponies and bouncy castles will always get the attention of kids whose parents are nagged into submission. A couple of Euros here, and a couple more there. Holidays for families in Annecy can be expensive.
It looks like Santa is getting in on the act too, with his abode being open to tourists from 3rd July to 29th August. I found this sign in Annecy last week. It says: “This summer, discover the hamlet of father christmas” and then says “Unique in France”. Well, yeah, I imagine it is, given it’s summer and Santa is meant to live a bit further North than the French Alps. A friend of mine, Lilly, worked at this very tourist attraction a few years ago, tossing crepes as the French do, for hungry kids during November in the lead-up to Christmas. When I visited her at work, I had to race through the rooms of Santa’s house, which were very glittery, to get to where she was at the café — appropriately placed at the end of the tour for parched and hungry kids and parents. The kids all seemed to be pretty happy, but that was in winter. Right now, it’s summer. Are families really interested in starting the Christmas hassles this early in the year? Surely this just starts the nagging for Christmas presents and those awkward questions from older kids about Santa himself.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m all for the Christmas spirit, but it’s not Christmas. However, I must thank Santa for Lilly’s great crepe-making ability, which I’ve benefitted from on more than one occasion.