Bringing the Christmas cheer
Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, but there is an expectation to feel jolly and festive and sometimes that can be hard.
Many of our elderly residents have lost loved ones and can feel this loss more acutely at Christmas. Sometimes, families face Christmas knowing, in their heart of hearts, that this may be their loved ones last Christmas. We understand the emotional pressures of Christmas and therefore, the Abberton team throw themselves into bringing magic and joy to everyone.
We have a huge programme of activities to keep residents busy and entertained. Ultimately though, it is family time that is most important and precious. This year we are encouraging families to get involved with our Residents’ Doors Christmas Decorating Challenge! We are also hosting many families for Christmas lunch over the festive period.
The Door Decorating Challenge
Hanging a wreath on a door can be traced back to the Ancient Romans, who used this to represent victory! In the 19th century, the wreath became linked to Christmas, with the circular shape representing Christ’s eternal life. Now decorating your door is commonplace, illuminating an entrance way and providing festivity and cheer to all visitors.
Our residents are delighted to be carrying on this tradition at Abberton. We are encouraging families to get involved and have had a tremendous response. There have been some inspirational designs, a lot of tinsel and some festive themes. One Christmas tree has become a memory tree, adorned with photos of family members. It is very special and much admired.
Our Facebook page is being kept up to date with pictures of doors as they are decorated. You can also VOTE on Facebook for the door you would like to win. We have prizes for the winning door and runner up, which will be presented on 22 December. https://www.facebook.com/abbertonmanor/
Turkey and all the trimmings
One heartwarming story of the Abberton team going the extra mile, was a very special lunch last year.
Barbara came to live at Abberton in mid December 2016 and despite being frail and with her health failing, she was determined to spend Christmas day with all her family. It was an anxious time for her family, who had promised it would happen, but were not sure if she should travel to Norfolk. They wanted a last Christmas together, but it was not looking possible.
Libby, our home manager, spoke to Barbara’s daughter on 20th December and they made the difficult decision that Barbara was not well enough to travel. Abberton however, offered to host their Christmas Day and set up the dining room for their big family celebration. There were 11 people, with Barbara front and centre, surrounded by her family, enjoying turkey with all the trimmings, crackers and party games. They spent the whole day together, with Barbara nodding off for a post-lunch snooze among her loved ones, whilst the celebrations carried on into the early evening.
Barbara’s daughter said “Despite the short notice and the numbers involved, you pulled it out of the bag for us and it was absolutely brilliant. It was a gift to us all and really made that last Christmas with her so very, very special”.
Barbara sadly passed away in January at Abberton, with her family by her side.
It was lovely for our staff to later receive a letter of thanks from her family, which said “We truly want to express our sincere thanks and love to everyone at Abberton for everything. Never change a thing about Abberton as you have the perfect mix and the perfect people”.
To have those sentiments in our hearts means so much, particularly at Christmas and this year our chefs will be working flat out cooking turkey lunches over the festive period for our residents and their families.
We have a Christmas raffle with some fabulous prizes and proceeds raised will go towards the residents’ fund. The draw is at 11am on 26th December. This fund helps us continue to go that extra mile for our residents, throughout the year. Your support is hugely appreciated.
Best wishes for a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at Abberton.