A Happy Outdoor Christmas 2023

On December 9, the Swiss Club Tokyo celebrated its yearly event “Outdoor Christmas” with the arrival of Samichlaus (Swiss Santa) and Schmutzli (Santa’s helper), in the beautiful garden of the Swiss Ambassador’s Residence. The weather was incredible, a gorgeous Saturday afternoon with the trees showing their autumn colours. 

Over 60 adults and about 35 children got together on that day. Not only the much anticipated chance of meeting Samichlaus, but also the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful garden of the Swiss Embassy was a strong incentive for many to sign up. No surprise that the event was sold out rather quickly!

The doors opened at 2pm and slowly guests started showing up. They were greeted with a cup of hot wine or hot lemonade at the entrance, and then guided to the garden, where a buffet, heavily loaded with home made cakes, cookies, and other delicacies awaited them. There was also a wide choice of cold and hot drinks. Once in the garden, the kids started running around and enjoying the pastries with their parents. 

At around 3pm, after most of the participants had arrived, the president of the Swiss Club, Peter Woehrle, greeted everybody and briefly informed them about the program of the afternoon, before leaving the stage to Ambassador Baum for a few words of welcome.

Guests then continued enjoying the pleasant environment, the buffet, and each other’s company, while the children had a ball skipping around the garden, which turned out to be the perfect playground with all its hidden pathways. The weather kept being perfect and unseasonably warm throughout the afternoon. 

It arrived the time to sing! Peter Whoehrle had his Ukulele, but also some musical instruments for the kids too! They were all excited to sing and play along. The president sang the most famous Christmas songs in English, and after this fun sing-along session, it was finally time for the highlight of the day: The arrival of Samichlaus and Schmutzli! The kids started screaming of joy “Samichlaus, Samichlaus!” until the couple finally appeared from behind the Embassy’s walls. 

Samichlaus and Schmutzli took their place in front of the children, who were sitting on Swiss Army blankets, waiting for their turn to be called. Samichlaus referred to his book of records when commenting on a child’s behavior. Slightly scary Schmutzli, stood ready to hand over a goodie bag to the kids at the end of each session, and then a photo together with the parents was taken to commemorate the occasion!

Unsurprisingly, due to the large amount of participants, the interaction between Samichlaus and the children turned out to be a rather lengthy process. Nevertheless, children (and parents) were on their best behavior.

At around 5:30pm, Samichlaus and Schmutzli said goodbye to everyone, and another outstanding Swiss Club Tokyo event drew to a close!

This article was written by Peter Woehrle (President) and Elena Laghi (Communications)

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