Now, I’m not a fan of Christmas, never have been. For 4 years out of the last 5 I’ve spent the day itself at home, wearing some fetching pjs, curled up with the cats and anticipating the new episode of Doctor Who. I don’t put any decorations up, using the excuse that the cats will just pull them down and at work I had to be coerced into putting up and decorating the office tree.

But this year, despite it not even being Christmas yet, I’ve gone way off the scale in the other direction, and it’s all in the name of ‘charidy’.

Shortly after arriving in Fethiye I began volunteering for the Çalış Children’s Charity (3C’s) – a charity that raises money to help young people in the local area by providing much needed equipment for groups and individuals and by providing services that contribute to the health, education and vitality of the community.

And yesterday we held the event of the season – the Çalış Christmas Fair – over 200 hundred stall holders selling their wares – homemade cakes, jewellery, ornaments, English foods….pretty much anything you might want to get your hands on.


Busy day at the 3C’s stall


In fact, a busy day all round

The 3C’s volunteers worked long and hard to make the event a success. We battled through rain, wind, rain, sun and rain to get everything ready in time but to see so many smiling faces on the day made it all worth it.

And the one thing I learnt from all this…when a particular pair of ladies (they know who they are) are sorting out the costumes for the pre-promotional tour on the ‘Santa Wagon’ just make sure you are nowhere near them. Unfortunately I was and I am now the proud owner of a rather short, actually scratch that – a very short, Mother Christmas outfit.

So, there we were, the day before the Fair – me, Father Christmas, an Elf and, erm, Mickey & Minnie Mouse – all ready to clamber aboard a decked out truck and head out to do a tour of the Fethiye area handing out leaflets and sweets.

Ready for the off...

Ready for the off…

Now I was hoping that maybe being in a Muslim country meant we might just be able to pass by the casual, and slightly baffled, bystander and be on our way but…no, the Turkish guy with the megaphone sitting in the front of the truck had different ideas and I suspect there are a lot of Turks out there still shaking their heads and tutting while thinking ‘those crazy Brits’.

Working it on the Santa Wagon

Working it on the Santa Wagon

As if that wasn’t enough, we had to don the garb again for the Fair itself but by now I’d kinda got a bit attached to the outfit and actually decided to wear it all day. I reckon I must be on about 50 Facebook pages this morning.

And next year…well, I’ve offered to be Minnie Mouse as the lady doing it said she got too hot. She thinks I’m doing it because I’m a nice person. I know I’m doing it because under all that garb people won’t know it’s me…