Two young children were chosen to welcome Father Christmas when he arrived at a Brent Knoll garden centre at the weekend.

Tom and Emily Hicks from Highbridge were the lucky pair chosen to welcome Santa, as he arrived in style at Sanders Garden World on Saturday.

His sleigh was pulled by two trusty reindeer, watched by dozens of cheering families outside the store to greet him.

Both the young VIPs met Santa and were treated to a trip in the centre’s Snow Globe, plus face painting and lunch.

Emily is 6 and has Sensory Processing Disorder and can therefore become overwhelmed in normal situations. Tom, 9, has been part of Monarchs Gymnastics since he was 4. He has competed in many competitons, including their most recent comp in Germany, where he won three gold medals with his partner Charlie.

After spending time with the two, Santa also met everyone else who had come to visit. In the store were the Cheddar Male Choir, a face painter and a balloon modeller offering free entertainment.

A member of the Hicks family said: “Tom and Emily were very excited to be chosen to meet Santa at Sanders Garden World and sit in his sleigh! Santa gave them a wonderful gift of time in the snowglobe and photos to keep, a wonderful lunch and tickets to the circus. We had a wonderful morning. We also got to meet Cupid and Comet, two of Santa’s reindeers. The snow-covered walk through at Sanders was amazing and a bit like walking into Narnia. Sanders provided free balloon modelling and face painting and Emily chose to have Olaf on her cheek.”