Christmas is a special time of year, and nowhere more so than at Green Tree Court. From carol singing and crafting to making plans for a spectacular feast for the big day itself, there’s lots going on. It’s a time for family, friends and, of course, sparkling decorations and presents. Here we share some of the different things that are getting us feeling festive and we ask some of our residents share their memories of Christmases past.
Christmas Day lunch
Food is a big part of the Christmas celebrations at Green Tree Court. Our kitchen team will be putting all hands to the deck to serve up a delicious Christmas lunch complete with all the trimmings. Preparations, from sourcing local produce to planning the menu, have been underway for some weeks. And once again we’ll be opening our doors to family members who want to join residents for lunch, ensuring that this Christmas tradition can be shared with nearest and dearest. This year, we’re delighted that we’re able to welcome 20 family members to join us on Christmas day to enjoy a special lunch with their loved ones. Among the delicacies on the menu are Roast Dawlish Turkey, Loch Duart Salmon Mousse, and a traditional Christmas pudding. See the full menu here.
Filling our home with music
From the popular Christmas crooning of James Billington to the sweet melodies of the Exmouth Hand Bell Ringers and children singing favourite carols, music fills our rooms throughout the festive season.
Going out and about at Christmas time
As well as bringing the spirit of Christmas to Green Tree Court, we’ve also gone out and about to find it too. Some of our residents went along to the enchanting carol service at Exeter Cathedral and we’ve also enjoyed a festive afternoon tea amongst the tinsel and poinsettias at Otter Nurseries.
Our regular craft sessions have seen a shift in focus towards all things festive. Residents busily made some beautiful decorations that we sold at our Victorian Shoppe to raise money for the Exeter Dementia Action Alliance and the Parkinson’s Society. And we created a wreath made from chocolates, which went down a treat with pupils from Pinhoe Primary School.
Whilst we’ve been very busy with our preparations for Christmas 2017, it’s also been a lovely chance for staff to chat to residents about their memories of Christmas in the past.
“Christmas was a time thoroughly enjoyed by all our family,” says Barbara Bearne. “My mother involved everyone when she was making the Christmas pudding. She would mix it all in a huge bowl and we would all sit around the table and take our turns to stir, using an enormous wooden spoon. I still have that spoon today and I would do the same with my children. Now that I live here at Green Tree Court I have given the spoon to my son, who I believe it carrying on with the tradition! Its seems like Christmas is different nowadays because children have so much that when Christmas arrives there is nothing new to buy them. When we were young we used to be pleased to even get an orange in our Christmas stocking!”
May Kerr remembers “my mother used to put our presents into her nylon stockings! Sometimes they wouldn’t all fit, so they would be next to the stocking. I would wake up on Christmas morning and my stocking would be on the bottom of my bed and I would tear open the paper.”
“We used to have a jolly merry time, all together,” added Mary Parry. “It was a happy time and we were all so excited to get whatever we were given. I discovered there was no Father Christmas when I saw my father putting the presents under the tree one year, I cant remember how old I was at the time, but I didn’t say anything to my sibling, who was younger than me!”
Why do these activities matter?
Helen Rushton, Home Director, explains: “At Green Tree Court we take a holistic, person-centred approach to care. We want our residents to enjoy living life to the full. That means thinking creatively about the different activities and entertainments that we put on. Some are creative, giving participants a chance to express themselves in new ways, as well as feel pride in creating something new. Other activities aim to be something a bit different, to get people talking and laughing. And some just give our residents access to take part in something they’ve always enjoyed doing. Whatever activity we have on, and however much or little a resident chooses to get involved, it’s all part of our approach to every day, helping to give everyone here a sense of purpose.”
Green Tree Court is a modern, purpose-built nursing care home in Exeter offering specialist dementia services. It has been awarded ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). For more details please get in touch on 01392 240400.