A six-year-old Montrose boy had a special visit from Santa Claus himself on Christmas Day.
Aidan Thompson, who suffers from a rare neurological condition called severe developmental verbal dyspraxia, which affects his speech and ability to move freely, was given a cash boost of £2,000 from Father Christmas on December 25.
The money was raised by the Angus people who visited Santa in his grotto in Montrose and booked him for home visits over the festive season.
Aidan’s mum, Debbie McFarlane, set up a Facebook page - Aidan’s Voice - for her son in January 2014 to raise awareness about his condition and gather funds for an electronic aid to allow the youngster to communicate with people.
Santa first met Aidan when the six-year-old paid him a visit at his Grotto in 2013 and soon after, he met him again at a Christmas party held at Montrose Maternity Unit.
Santa said: “Aidan was very shy and when I saw him looking at me, I just winked at him and turned away. This went on throughout my visit and he appeared to be more comfortable come the time I was leaving.
“On Christmas Eve 2013, I had a couple of home visits near to where he lived and when I left one of them, I spotted Aidan looking out of the kitchen window waving to me. I made a beeline to his house and spent some time with him and his family, leaving behind some small presents.
After finding out more about his condition, I decided that this would be my chosen cause this year.”
Aidan’s mum, Debbie, wrote on the Aidan’s Voice Facebook page: “[We] would like to say a huge thank you to Santa Claus in Montrose for all his hard work and effort this year, which raised an amazing £2,000. We’re so grateful! Thank you so very much, Aidan got a lovely surprise when Santa showed up to the house, because Santa forgot to take his present from Aidan and Santa wanted to give Aidan a surprise!”
Santa Claus has now hung up his red suit for another year, after spending the last month doing home visits to excited children, attending parties all over Montrose and further afield, and bringing his new Grotto to the High Street.
For the third year running, Santa took time out from delivering presents all over the world to come to Montrose and deliver his own festive cheer to local causes. Each year, the money Santa raises from his various events is donated to a worthy local cause, which this year was Aidan.
Last year, he raised £1,500 for Montrose Maternity Unit.
Santa’s first appearance in the town this year was at the Christmas lights switch-on event in November, where children and adults alike queued for up to four hours to see their favourite jolly bearded man.
He then brought his grotto back to the High Street the following Saturday, attending the Montrose Farmers’ Market, where he met a steady stream of children throughout the day.
The finale to his High Street visits was when he was at the Christmas Spectacular the weekend before Christmas, where he said he had a ball of a time speaking to all the children who came to visit him, chatting to them before giving them some gifts to put under their trees.
Santa occasionally took a break from the grotto to try out several of the funfair rides, much to the delight and amusement of everyone who was there.
When we caught up with Santa he told us: “I enjoy the work that I do, probably as much as the children enjoy meeting me, and if I can in turn pay a surprise visit to someone on Christmas Day, with a little festive cheer, it makes it all worthwhile.”