December’s theme was ‘Sparkle and Glitter’ reflecting the fact it was Christmas and also, reflecting the fact that early in December, Hill House welcomed some ballroom dancers, who gave us a ballroom dancing demonstration in our own mini ‘Strictly Come Hill House’ tea dance. We all rushed to get the fake tan and glitter ball out for this one!!
It was an exceptionally busy month, the Christmas programme was well underway in late November having already hosted the ‘Sing for Fun’ group, the Odiham beavers and Rock Choir, we had in the final weeks running up to Christmas amongst other events; St. Nick’s pupils performing for us, bell ringers and Crondall parish choir singing carols, Christmas ‘Singing for the brain’, annual Christmas lunches, Professor Andrew Knight entertaining us afterwards and a wonderful Christmas concert by the Carillon Singers on the 16th December.
On Friday December 2nd a group of residents some with their relatives visited Redfields Garden Centre. There they enjoyed a stroll round the very many displays of Christmas trees, decorations and gifts. A full size animated Father Christmas, part of the wonderful festive display, was particularly enjoyed by some of the residents as they walked around the garden centre. After a very pleasant walk Hill House residents met up with residents from the two other homes in the restaurant. Here they chatted and reminisced over coffee, tea and biscuits, before returning just in time for lunch.
On Tuesday 6th December residents enjoyed a mini ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ Tea Dance at Hill House, when they welcomed a ballroom dancing couple from Camberley Ballroom dancing U3A. They delighted the audience with a demonstration of a number of different dances including, the waltz, rumba and quick step. This was interspersed with group dances where residents and staff needed little encouragement to get up and join in! The wonderful dancing demonstration was followed by a delicious afternoon tea with homemade cakes.
On the evening of Wednesday 7th December a small group of residents attended the Fleet Lions Concert at the Elvetham Church. The wonderful festive performance included an excellent choral performance by the pupils of the ‘Grey House Choir,’ followed by the singing trio ‘Champagne at the Blitz’ who sang some fabulous nostalgic tunes. The Elvetham community choir opened the second half of the concert following an interval with seasonal refreshments. The finale of the evening was an amusing comedy sketch by the Fleet Lions in tribute to ‘Dad’s Army’ which everyone thoroughly enjoyed. Residents returned home tired but happy at 10.15 pm!!
On the morning of Friday 9th December a small group of residents travelled to Fleet Town Centre for coffee. They met with residents from both Woodlands and Hillbrow and enjoyed tea, coffee and homemade cake and muffins. They enjoyed doing a bit of shopping and looking at the colourful decorations on display in the Hart Centre including the Christmas tree, before returning to Hill House in time for lunch.
During the afternoon a group of pupils from St. Nicholas School, Church Crookham accompanied by their teachers and some parents put on a very festive musical performance, which was very much enjoyed by the residents. The young musicians both sang and played along on the violin to songs like ‘Frosty the Snowman’ and ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’ which soon had people singing along and really getting into the festive spirit!
On Sunday 10th December residents enjoyed a seasonal performance by the Crondall Parish Bell Ringers group. Seven bell ringers rang out well known Christmas carols and residents some with their visiting relatives sang along to them. Afterwards everyone enjoyed tea, coffee and mince pies.
On Tuesday 13th December Hill House welcomed our local Vicar Tara from the Parish of Crondall for a seasonal holy communion interspersed with a few Christmas carols for good measure! This served as taster as later that day at 6.30 pm the Vicar returned with some members of the Crondall Parish Choir and sang Christmas carols to the residents following their supper. Residents enjoyed the opportunity to join in singing along to their own favourites before retiring to bed.
On Wednesday 14th December residents enjoyed a very festive ‘Singing for the Brain’ session this afternoon including some well-known carols and favourite Christmas tunes. Many sang along and joined in with the actions to specific songs where appropriate. Afterwards everyone enjoyed tea and homemade cakes.
On the afternoon of Friday 16th December residents enjoyed a trip to Badshot Lea Garden Centre. They had a very pleasant stroll round, taking in the extensive and beautiful Christmas displays and even ventured outside to see the fish in the aquaria. Afterwards they met up in the restaurant with residents from both Woodlands and Hillbrow where they enjoyed tea, coffee, cakes and cookies.
On the same Friday evening Hill House hosted a very special festive performance by The Carillon Singers choir. A group of 30 strong singers with piano accompaniment, standing in front of our beautiful and very big Christmas tree, delighted the residents from all three homes with a delightful programme of Christmas music including ‘Ding Dong Merrily on High, ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Oh Holy Night’ amongst others. The performance was interspersed with carols, the audience were encouraged to sing along with too. It was a very entertaining and festive evening which saw our residents retiring at 8.00pm tired but happy with music very much on their minds!
On Monday 19th December Hill House hosted its annual Christmas lunch. Firstly there was a surprise visit by Father Christmas who visited each and every resident across the home bringing a gift for all during the morning. Residents were then seated for lunch at 12.00am smartly dressed and donning individual hand-made Christmas hats! They were treated to a wonderful three course Christmas dinner including prawn cocktail or melon, followed by roast turkey with all the trimmings and of course Christmas pudding or chocolate gateau to follow. The wine flowed; residents laughed and chatted with each other and the staff, as well as pulling crackers, and reminiscing about Christmases gone by. At 2.30pm residents then enjoyed the musical performance by Professor Andrew Knight who this time was accompanied by Mrs Knight as well. This was an extremely lively and entertaining session with much audience participation of playing various percussion instruments as well as Professor Andrew and his wife playing many instruments to entertain the residents too! The performance once it concluded received rapturous applause from the residents, concluding a very festive and enjoyable Christmas lunch day overall!
On Wednesday 21st December the residents enjoyed listening to the staff singing carols, accompanied by Louis. The ‘Staff Choir’ all dressed in Christmas jumpers, hats and funny headgear sang a selection of the most well-known carols and residents were encouraged to join in with the ones they knew too. Afterwards, the annual Christmas raffle winning tickets were drawn by Alison the owner and director.
On Friday 23rd December a group of residents some accompanied by their relatives, travelled by taxi to the Wyvern Pub in Crookham Village. There they met with residents from both Hill Brow and Woodlands homes and enjoyed a very seasonal drink just one day before Christmas Eve! Tea and coffee, as well as wine, beer and sherry were enjoyed along with biscuits, sweets and crackers. In the afternoon of the same day, residents came together and enjoyed singing carols and doing a very seasonal quiz all about Christmas. This was followed by afternoon tea, served with mince pies and biscuits.
On the afternoon of Friday 30th December residents from across all three homes came together for an early New Year’s party to welcome in 2017. Residents were entertained with a selection of well-known tunes including songs by Frank Sinatra and Elvis, as well as some old favourites from classic musicals. Soon everyone was singing along with Gareth and/or dancing in time with the lively tunes. Gareth kept everyone entertained between the songs with his comedy and so enjoyed by everyone that the audience called for an encore which he duly did! Everyone, residents, staff and relatives finally sang along to ‘Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dream Coat’ which concluded with rapturous applause. The afternoon ensured everyone welcomed the forthcoming New Year happily and positively!!