Every year we put the decorations away in the attic and always seem to have left over a bag of stuff that never quite makes it into the attic. It sits outside ( beneath ) the attic door and for the first 6 months we say -
' Must put those away.'
and eventually when it is closer to the next Christmas, we decide to just leave it there and use it when Christmas comes around again.
Then what happens - WE DON'T USE IT... so we have looked at, stepped over, and cursed, a bag of decorations almost for the whole year that when Christmas does come around, we don't even use...
Mind you, we have tons of stuff to chose from, bags and bags collected over the years - for as a hotel open and busy for the Festive Season, we have to make it a little different each year, not always the same, as we get a lot of repeat custom and like to vary it for them as well as for ourselves.
Usually it is facilitated by David and myself. We put some carols on in mid November - with a glass of wine or four - we get it done early as we have more than enough to do in Decemnber, and we have a fun few days.
This year, David was away at the time and it had to be done so tackled it on my own, and with the conservatory needing emptying out so the new double glazing could be done - at the same time - it was stressfull and chaotic long days tying to keep the place - kind of - organised and clear of stuff everywhere - and for a week it was a mess and all the while I am trying to get in touch with my atristic bent... and we all know how long that can take huh ?
We came through the other side.
The conservatory was finnished and the decorations all done... and other than a few odds and ends to sort out - the place is looking really quite festive again... and I love it.
Now we can relax and concentrate on what we need to do for the festive season as it takes a LOT of planning - and not just the menu ( Christmas Eve - Duck Breast with an Orange Sauce :- Christmas Day the usual Turkey and Home Boiled Ham :- Boxing Day - Locally sourced Venison Casserole with herb dumpling crust... etc.etc. and just making sure we have enough milk stored for enough people at a time when we do not want to go shopping, and making sure we have enough bread, potatoes etc. means we have to arrange extra storage in cold places, extra food stocks and while stocking up, we have to ensure we have enough fridge space for not just storage of milk, but somewhere to put the home made deserts in a fridge - where to store tons of potatoes in the cold etc. and all this takes some planning and organising above and beyond our usual workload and storage facilities... and every little detail has to be planned.
For instance. On Christmas Day, I cook a full English Breakfast for around 15 people - then Afternoon Tea with the Queen at 3pm with HOME MADE Mince Pies and Christmas Cake - Full Turkey Dinner with 6 different veg, home made cranbery stuffing - the works - with Plum Pudding and Baileys Irish Cream Custard with Home Made Mince Pies - Then a small buffet for later in the evening, so Trifle to make, Cheeses and Pates etc. and all through this mass of cooking and all on just a domestic 4 ring stove ... so somewhat cramped for space... I am also preparing the Venison Casserole for the next day - as anything like this is better cooked the day before... and Christmas Day - like New Years Eve - are the busiest days of the year for me here and I am cooking up a storm... and I love it.
I write myself notes and lists of when certain things need to go in the oven. I have the menues on the kitchen cupboards to refer to all the time - and what needs taking out the freezer today ready for tomorrow and what needs cooking ready for later - or at least - prepped.
Then after dinner a quick shower and change - and where the customers are relaxing - we are flapping about clearing up, taking down the huge tables and putting up the cabaret tables and completely re-doing the dining room into a fun cabaret space for the evening where I am now the host - keeping the party atmosphere going and trying, sometimes against all odds, to get people singing, sharing a gag, offering their ' party piece ' and not expecting us to entertain but to encourage them - and again - tons of work - great fun.
Then late in the evening when people are going off to bed, cabaret tables to be removed and the huge main table to re assemble and relaid ready for breakfast - and this alone can take an hour.. and when you have just done a 16 hour day already without so much as a break, it exhausts.
But I love it.
This was our table last year ....
and I am excited about the many Festive Weekends we have before the Big Day.
I have an evening in mid December for my family and friends and I have Steve West come and entertain and keep the party going so I can cook and be with family a little prior to Christmas, as I shall not see them at all over the festive season as I am busy. Steve is a wonderful singer - available for private parties and even bigger events - so CLICK HERE and go to his web site where you can hear him singing... as sometimes, if there is someone there looking after and entertaining your guests, it can leave space and make it easier for the host - and I need all the help I can get ... ha ha
Christmas still has a few vacancies for this year - so check it out here - CHRISTMAS & NEW YEAR - and come and join the fun - the games - the food and wine and giggles... and NEW YEAR - well the fun continues although is a NAKED NEW YEAR with a Fancy Undress Competition... so more laughs and fun all rolund.
I hope you all have a great Festive Season and regardless of what your belief structure, your way of life - your fears and your desires - I wish you all well for 2020 and just see - with fingers crossed, this will be the year that Brexit gets sorted out one way or another - Trump gets impeached - All countries come together to tackle Climate Change and the plastics in the ocean - and the world moves forward in peace and love and mankind comes together and works together for the betterment of humankind, the planet and the universe...
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