It is the perplexing question that befuddles the minds of children every Christmas: How will Santa fit down my chimney? Most chimneys are not wide enough for a person to fit down, let alone a jolly ol’ man with a big round belly. This is why six-year old Leo Park mailed off two letters this year, one to Santa and another to the property owner of the housing development where Leo’s house is being built.
Jeremy Paxton received the following from young Leo: “Dear Mr Paxton, I am worried that my mummy’s house does not have a big enough chimney. I think Santa Claus will get stuck. Please can you help. Love Leo Park.”
Paxton is the founder and owner of Lower Mill Estate, a luxury vacation home development in southwestern England. In response to Leo’s letter, he got to work to find a solution.
Experts set to work to engineer a Santa-friendly chimney that factors in St. Nick’s size against the narrowest point of the chimney.
To put the design to the test, a “stunt Santa” was brought in and lowered down in full costume and padding, and young Leo was invited to watch the whole experiment.
Down the chimney, Santa went, and when he safely emerged later, he gave the requisite “Ho! Ho! Ho!”
The Santa stand-in gave Leo every assurance that the new chimney was big enough for Santa and all the presents he’d be hauling. The little boy gave the thumbs up and hugged Santa.
Santa won’t be visiting the Park family in their new vacation home until next December, but Leo will always remember this day as “the best day of my life.”