In Balaruc-les-Bains, children call it “the house of Father Christmas”

    In Balaruc-les-Bains, children call it “the house of Father Christmas”

    In Balaruc-les-Bains, the house of Arlette and Jean Karsenty is unmissable! A Santa Claus who climbs on the gutter, a reins who nods, snowmen who light up … For 22 years, the couple in their seventies have been decorating their house for Christmas, from the garden to the roof. For three years, they have installed an old red letterbox, at child height, so that the little ones can slip in their gift list.

    Santa’s mailbox

    Jules has already written his letter. He would like Lego and a drone, which he would like to fly. He intends to drop it off at Arlette and Jean Karsenty. “This is Santa’s mailbox, explains the 8-year-old boy. This is where he comes to get them.“Every evening, the retired couple collects the envelopes and takes them to the post office sorting center, which is responsible for responding to the children.

    We don’t read letters, explains Arlette. On the other hand, sometimes, I add stickers, colored stickers, which catch the eye of Santa Claus! Some parents do, some don’t. In order not to do injustices, I stick when there aren’t any.“The couple also offers the children the possibility of visiting their garden, in groups of five and with a mask.

    Because of the coronavirus, the magic of Christmas is less intense. In Arlette and Jean’s garden, Father Christmas wears a surgical mask, to be protected until Christmas Eve. The children no longer come into the house. “We pay attention anyway because we are old, says the 77-year-old lady. It’s different, that’s for sure! Now they’re just hanging out their heads. While me, what I like is having them around me …

    We miss not having grandchildren … So we take advantage of those of others! – Arlette Karsenty.

    Arlette and Jean Karsenty started this tradition 22 years ago. The retired couple have no grandchildren.We find opportunities to bring them home“, explains Arlette. For Halloween, for Easter, for Christmas … Arlette and Jean spend time decorating their house and stocking up on sweets and other delicacies.

    Children can come and visit the garden after dark. © Radio France
    – Clara GUICHON

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