"The weather outside" was not frightful (no rain); And the sun was delightful (no need for a fire); And since the children had no better place to go; Let the fun go, let it go, let it go." Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas!

(Adapted from "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! "By Vaughn Monroe, in 1945).

On the immaculately kept northern lawn of the State House, the residence of His Excellency President Charles Savarin, last Saturday afternoon more than 200 energetic children from the northern villages jumped and danced and somersaulted and frolicked in bouncing castles and accepted gifts from Santa Claus. They had the time of their short lives.

The occasion? The annual President Christmas party for disadvantaged children organised by the President's Charities Foundation Incorporated for children aged five to 12.

Held annually for the past 12 years (except 2017 due to the destruction of Hurricane Maria) this year, 275 children from Bense, Anse De Mai, Borne, Dos d'Ane, Paix Bouche, Thibaud, Vieille Case and Penville attended. The event is being rotated among districts.

President Savarin played the perfect host- he blindfolded children, spun them around three times as they tried to attach a tail to a poster of a donkey; surrounded by an excitable group of children, he tried sending a tennis ball into a tiny hole from four feet away; he watched children blow dozens of tiny, round, silver bubbles from their mouths into the air; he grinned widely as children, driven by adrenaline (or was it too many cakes and soft drinks?) leap on each other in a soft, bouncing castle.

It was great fun.

Until the excitement was taken to another level when Santa Claus, a giant of a man dressed in red and wearing dark sunglasses, walked in, shouting ho, ho, ho and ringing a large bell. No, he didn't have a sleigh or a donkey, for that matter, but he handed gifts to all 275 children.

Main organizer Oliver St. John said the gifts alone cost $5,000.

So, after so much fun these tiny tots would have found it hard to sleep that Saturday night. But then the party could have been enjoyed by kids "from one to ninety-two". They would have all ended the event by saying it "many, many times; in many, many ways- Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, to you".

(Above taken from "The Christmas Song" produced in 1944 by Mel Torme and Bob Wells).