SANTA Benarty and his elves are taking a well-needed rest after working day and night over Christmas and New Year.

Their work started on December 10 as they made their way around the Benarty area meeting local children and putting smiles on faces.

This event was sponsored by Brian Notman (Advance Plumbing and Heating), Harry Webster - Benarty Funeral Directors, and Benarty Community Council, and it was one of the busiest years to date.

Speaking exclusively to the Times, Santa Benarty said: "This year we had some local families being scammed by an online company advertising home visits from various Christmas characters.

"So Santa Benarty and his Elves - along with the Grinch - stepped in to help by giving home visits to these families.

"Santa had a few very special visits this year,

"The first one was to Benore Care Home to wish the residents a Merry Christmas. We were joined by John Gilfillan who sang a few songs to the residents also.

"Next we were asked to do a very special visit to Kirkcaldy Deaf Club. It was an amazing visit and everyone had a fantastic time."

Santa Benarty also helped those fleeing war this year, with the Grinch and Santa doing a street collection to raise money to cover their excess for flights.

Santa said: "We were made aware of a Ukrainian family that was fleeing Odessa which was under heavy bombing.

"They were supposed to arrive in Scotland on Christmas Eve but the borders were too busy for them to make their flight to Scotland.

"They did however manage to get another flight for Boxing Day but at a more expensive cost.

"We decided to hold back to around their traditional Christmas back home which was January 7.

"Santa Benarty and his elves paid a very heart-warming visit to see the Ukrainian family at their sponsor's home in Markinch.

"It was a very emotional visit but it was also full of joy and goodwill."

Santa Benarty had support over this period from Kingdom FM, Lodge Balgonie and Glenrothes Salvation Army, and thanked all those who handed in gifts to go with Kingdom FM presents.

"Santa Benarty would like to thank all the elves and their parents that make these visits possible every year," he said.

"Along with everyone that keeps the sleigh moving, Rab Ford the sparkie and all the drivers and volunteers - you do a magnificent job, all of you!

"Lastly, as a special treat for the elves for doing their duties all through COVID and some seriously cold weather on their travels around the streets, they were treated to a day out at the Irn Bru Carnival in Glasgow.

"Bay Travel Coaches supplied the party with an executive coach and the Wilmot Family of Showmen took care of them on arrival at the SECC.

"Sorry if we have missed anyone out.

"It’s a big team effort every year and we thank you all."