We’d like to take our children to Lapland this year. Are the trips any good?

For the most authentic, least tacky and commercialised Santa experience we’d recommend a package from Esprit. They’re based in Saariselkä, north of the Arctic Circle and within 30 minutes of Ivalo international airport where you’re greeted by mischievous elves and a reindeer led by a traditionally dressed Lapp. Mr Claus guarantees a private meeting for every family in his secret woodland cabin (rather than a rendezvous in a restaurant with a coach-load of other families).

And the magic doesn’t end there. You also spend a day exploring Finland’s winter wonderland, with unlimited ice-fishing, snow hockey, kick-sledding, tandem skiing, tobogganing and mini-skidoo rides, a reindeer sleigh ride and husky sled ride. Three- and four-day mini-breaks are available throughout December from around £669 per adult, one child aged 2-5 goes free and a second one pays £439. Included are return flights from Gatwick, Manchester or Stansted, transfers, B&B hotel accommodation, a private meeting with Santa, gifts for children, free use of thermal outer clothing, unlimited warm drinks and a hot lunch in a wooden chalet. Optional extras include an hour’s family snowmobile safari for £49 per adult and £39 per child. Magic of Lapland also offers festive short breaks to Finnish Lapland.

Of course, it’s not obligatory to visit Santa just because you’re going to Lapland. Discover the World offers elf-free four-day breaks in Finnish Lapland staying in cosy log cabins at either Iso Syote or Kakslauttanen from around £2980 for a family of four (including two children under 12), departing London Heathrow.