Finding Nutmeg was created by Greg Clarke pictured above
Finding Nutmeg children’s book is a Christmas 2020 must-have
While it looks like Christmas 2020 will be a little different for many families, this year is also about creating new traditions that bring the whole family together. That’s exactly what The Santa Experience and one of its creators, Greg Clarke, did when they launched their festive book, ‘Find the nutmeg’.
This beautifully illustrated children’s book details the story of a boy’s magical adventure to the North Pole. After finding a magical piece outside his grandfather’s workshop, Sean embarks on a mission to return it to its rightful owner: Nutmeg the Elf. Join Sean on his journey to find Nutmeg as he encounters elves, reindeer, and even a talking snowman along the way, while learning the importance of helping and giving (the true qualities of an elf !).
Written by Limerick native Greg Clarke, with art by Des Langford and color by Deborah Hilbert, ‘Find the nutmeg’, is a timeless tale that is sure to bring the whole family together. And for the year in it, “Finding the Nutmeg” will help families recreate the magic of the Santa Claus Experience safely in their homes.
Speaking about the inspiration behind the book, Greg, who is the Managing Director of The Santa Experience, said the book is the product of a lifelong love for all things festive, as well as his experiences in interacting with thousands of families and witnessing their joy and happiness. as they visit Santa at one of their locations.
He said: “I grew up in a house where Christmas was a big deal – and getting the giant box from the attic once a year was a much-awaited moment. The night spent decorating the whole house from carefully drawn plans was the best family fun.
“’Find the nutmeg’ came from a love of Christmas and knowing what makes a Christmas experience authentic, authentic and magical. We have learned this not only in the years of creating and building The Santa Experience, but also by interacting with thousands of families and seeing the reactions of children as they travel across the North Pole to visit the Santa Claus.
“This year is going to be a little different from how we are used to celebrating Christmas and we recognize that here at The Santa Experience, so we are thrilled to be able to launch this book and offer something different to families – something they can experience from home. We want to provide an experience that is safe for people but still retains that Christmas magic, and I think this book helps us achieve that. Unlike an annual event for families, own’Find the nutmeg’ allows kids to relive the magic over and over again, pass it on to other family members, and create traditions that can last forever,” added Greg.
‘Find the nutmeg’ is available for purchase at select Dunnes stores as well as the Dunnes Stores online store HERE
For more information on “Finding the Nutmeg”goes HERE
About the Author: Greg Clarke
Greg was born and raised in Limerick City. He attended Scoil Íde Primary School, St. Munchin’s College Secondary School and the Limerick Institute of Technology where he studied property appraisal and management. He worked in industrial property sales and lettings for over six years in Dublin before eventually partnering with his father, Ger, to run the new family business, Magic Hammer Events Ltd.
During his freshman year, Greg had helped his father bring the vision of “The Santa Experience” to life. A multi-room, pre-booked interactive experience where families travel through the Elf Post Office, reindeer stables, sleigh station and a snowy arctic area before arriving at Santa’s House where Santa speaks with each child individually, surprising them when he knows something particular to each of them.
The Clarkes’ love of Christmas and Ger’s previous experience in amateur theater production, as well as his successful career working at a high level in American multinational corporations, were a great recipe for creating this authentic and magical experience. Greg dabbled in scripting, stage design and construction, as well as marketing, hiring and social media management.
Over the years, together with Greg’s wife, Melanie, they have honed and refined the Santa Claus experience until it is today: three major cities in Ireland and over 55,000 customers in 2019.
Greg also loves to travel and The Santa Experience year started in 2010, when in Barcelona he met his future wife, Melanie, who is now also an integral part of the team. That night Barcelona won the Champions League and the whole city went wild. Greg and Melanie shared a taxi to Las Ramblas to attend the celebrations and the rest is history. They live in Limerick City but also frequent Melanie’s hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Melanie’s background as a Montessori teacher and children’s yoga instructor also helps provide insight into their kid-friendly events and products.
The Santa Experience and one of its creators, Greg Clarke, released their festive book, “Finding Nutmeg.” Finding Nutmeg is available for purchase at select Dunnes stores as well as @dunnessstores‘ onlinehttps://t.co/PMK5VBmGG9#ilovelimerick #lovelimerick #lovinlimerick pic.twitter.com/c6r8a7icFj
— #LimerickTilliDie (@ilovelimerick) November 6, 2020
About the Santa Claus Experience: At this time, due to government guidelines, we cannot operate in any location with Tier 3 or higher restrictions. If that changes, we’ll do our best to secure some type of in-person visit from Santa, but until then, we have several options to bring the magic of Christmas home! The Santa Claus Experience will be offering virtual Zoom Santa meetings, personalized pre-recorded videos of Santa Claus, personalized letters and Nice List certificates. All information can be found HERE
Santa’s Experience Story
For the past 10 years, The Santa Experience, in association with Dunnes Stores, has created magical and authentic Christmas experiences for children and adults.
Located at sites across Ireland including Dublin, Limerick and Cork, this award-winning family business offers multi-room tours of the North Pole where children can meet elves, reindeer and even Santa Claus himself!
The concept of the Santa Claus Experience was born out of a love of Christmas instilled in Ger Clarke by his mother. Regardless of the economic conditions at the time (late 1950s/early 1960s), Christmas has always been (and still is) very special and magical in the Clarke house in Limerick. Growing up, Ger’s house was decorated with homemade garlands and the decorations were carefully unwrapped and positioned correctly on the tree. The presents were wrapped and the family was taken to town to see the Christmas lights, attend the Panto, have tea in Savoy and then visit Santa Claus.
For Ger it was and still is a magical time of year. In 2010, after retiring for first time, he felt that the children and their families were missing the opportunity to go visit the real Santa Claus.
Ger has spent most of his standard working life in American multinationals such as Ferenka, Westinghouse, Wang and Dell. His last role was to lead various operations in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa).
Growing up, he spent hours at rehearsals for locally produced shows his mother performed in. This, along with his grandfather’s mastery of music, instilled in him a love of creative theater. He has directed, produced, created, lit, designed, built and performed in shows locally and nationally. With a light heart, Ger says he soon realized he was better behind the scenes.
Ger said: “We launched the Santa Claus Experience in Limerick 10 years ago. I had been to the US several times and was probably engrossed in the way they did things. I had this idea to create the “real Christmas experience for children”. The initial concept has matured over the years, based on continuous brainstorming and creation by those around me. My wife, Cecil, is the lead designer of the caves. My daughter, Deirdre, and my son, Gearoid, did all the jobs, from elf to management. My daughter-in-law, Melanie, brought a new level of efficiency, organizational and creative skills as a systems guru and lateral thinker. My son, Greg, is the Managing Director and handles everything from recruiting, marketing, social media, creative, PR and is by my side in all other aspects of running the business . He has now taken the concept to another level with the publication of “Finding the Nutmeg”, which is directly inspired by the journey that families take when they visit The Santa Experience. We all have a responsibility to continually develop and deliver the concept without ever losing the simple goal from day one: It has to be the most personal, magical and authentic Santa Claus experience for every family. And everyone, young and old, must leave with a big smile on their face.”
For previous stories about the Santa Claus experiment, go HERE