Christmas comes early as coaches and parents reap benefits of Storm Deirdre while Minis run riot armed with slime and slinky hoop things – Santa reported safely back at North Pole HQ.
Sunday 16 December 2018 @ The Kilbogget Grotto
While the laundry folk at Leinster and Bath Rugby cursed the impact of Saturday’s deluge, coaches and parents were busy scribbling with their Twistables to add Storm Deirdre to their Christmas Card list as her arrival signalled a devastatingly upsetting cancellation of Sunday morning training (ahem!).
While gleeful parents tried to contain their excitement at the prospect of a bit more sleep, the kids put on a brave face, realising that all their hard work and effort since that first Sunday in September meant they were now in peak physical condition for their biggest challenge to date – the annual Seapoint Minis Christmas Party!
In preparation for THE must-attend social event of the Mini rugby calendar, Brianan, Karen and the other little helpers had been selflessly foregoing the Christmas card lists and other enticing chores to put the final touches on this special event, sprinkling some of their magic festive fairy dust (World Anti Doping Agency approved) around the clubhouse to convert it into a winter wonderland.
But what of the Big Man himself?
A huge Seapoint fan, Santa was once again kindly able to call on the generosity of his friends at Dun Laoghaire Fire Brigade to get him to the clubhouse on time so that Rudolph, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen could keep loading up on carbs in preparation for the big flight that is Christmas night.
The sound of sirens filling the air made all hearts skip a beat – could it really be Santa? Will there be real firemen like the ones in the calendar from the office Kris Kindle? Have I parked illegally? - but when the fire engine arrived, the eagle-eyed kids were the first to lay eyes on Santa and greeted him with the kind of Seapoint welcome normally reserved for the postman when he drops off tickets for Ireland’s Six Nations home games.
Once inside, Santa took his seat on the Throne of St Nick as the kids set about forming an orderly queue in its loosest sense in eager anticipation and nervous trepidation of a private audience/final-round interview with the man with the bag. While the kids waited in-line, parents took the opportunity to lose themselves in a the frothy cream of a hot chocolate and/or sneak in a cheeky hotdog/burger combo fresh off the barbeque, tended to outside by those hardy souls impervious to heat, cold or indeed excessive smoke inhalation (lungs of steel!).
Doctor sets, gyroscopic slinkies and no end of play slime (at least we believe it was play slime – please God let it have been play slime!!) delighted the kids as Santa held court and commanded the very best behaviour and responses to his questions as only he can. Meanwhile, coaches were busy observing and note-taking, looking for tips on crowd control like it was Jonathan Sharkey of Leinster Rugby himself.
As the kids continued with the grotto grovelling and pleading leniency for “the bolognaise incident”, an army of elves were busy helping to lighten the load of coins and notes weighing down partygoers in exchange for the season’s hottest tickets, the Christmas Party Raffle.
Once the bell tolled to mark Santa’s departure, swathes of tickets doubled as fans to keep the punters cool as the temperature rose once the prize table was unveiled (with many thanks to the prize sponsors!). From Roses to Rosé, clever gifts to SmartBoxes, there was something to pique the interest of all.
The elves were reinforced by a willing army of Mini elves who helped oversee the independent adjudication process – there would be no upside down Number 11s drawn or incorrect winners announced here thank you very much.
While each draw brought Christmas cheer or torn-up dreams, all could console themselves that it was for a great cause and they really didn’t need to consume more chocolate or wine (but would valiantly do so if it meant supporting the Blue, Black and Green).
As the dust settled, revellers from the Seapoint family headed off out into the cold night, warmed by the Christmas jumpers and counting the remaining sleeps before Christmas (9) and training starting up again on Jan 6 (21!).
Updated 10:49 - 7 Jan 2019 by Gerry Owens