Since arriving in August, I’ve repeatedly been told how wonderful Christmas at Godinton is, and so I was greatly looking forward to experiencing my first one. Fortunately, my high expectations were met: it has been an incredibly busy December, but a very lovely one too.
A whole host of creative skills have been put to the test like never before: whether it be a mince pie production line (96 + a couple of testers), a morning crafting sugar paste holly and poinsettia leaves, fetching wood for a roaring fire or decorating the magnificent tree, it’s certainly been different to our normal day-to-day work. We host several Christmas parties for local community organisations and groups, and so each day cleaning up from the previous night and setting up for the next event has taken up quite a bit of time. Unsurprisingly, a large focus of the work at Godinton is on conservation and maintaining the house as best as we can for the future: but, over the festive period, we have to take a step back (although we do maintain high standards of care and vigilance) and simply enjoy seeing the house so full of people and festive cheer. It’s been a really joyful time, and December culminated in the Godinton Christmas Party, where we welcomed around 100 of our staff, guides, volunteers, trustees and residents to the Great Hall for mulled wine, mince pies, and lots of carol singing.
The realities of January are slowly hitting as the decorations, fairy lights and tree are about to be taken away, but all good things must come to an end. 2020 is promising to be an exciting year at Godinton, with lots of projects being developed and planned!