We kicked off our Christmas party with a mulled wine reception served by our very own elf, with the unmistakable seasonal aromas of cinnamon and cloves welcoming our members in from the cold.
Many people commented on the smells triggering memories from times past, which got the conversation flowing about childhood Christmases. It turned into somewhat of a jovial competition to find out whose childhood gift was the most frugal – a ping-pong ball/a penny whistle…even a meagre small orange!
Our local children’s choir from Bolton Brow Primary School treated us to an outstanding performance of Christmas songs and Carols. It was deeply moving to experience young and old connecting through the power of music, including songs about the trenches and a sign language piece in particular that did not leave a dry eye in the room.
It was especially powerful to watch members who normally find it a challenge to engage in verbal communication joining in with the traditional carols and to remember them word-for-word without a song sheet. This reminded us all afresh, the importance of providing meaningful activities that use symbolic and creative methods of non-verbal communication throughout all of our care facilities.
Before the children left, we had a special flying visitor from the North Pole (with a very suspicious Santa Claus voice), who passed out his Christmas cheer in good measure with chocolate lollipops for the children and clay ornaments for the adults.
After filling up on a feast of mince pies, cheese and paté, Welsh cake and panettone (to name a few), there was lots of laughter as we racked our memories to remember songs, films, royal events, and poem lyrics throughout the decades in our festive quiz. With prizes including generous local business donations of, craft ales and port, boxes of chocolates, beautiful bath gifts, and the highly coveted match tickets from both Halifax RLFC and FC Halifax Town, there were plenty of prizes for every member and no one left empty-handed.
Having had 8 sessions to date, our team of volunteers are proud to be welcoming a regular number of 15-20 people per monthly event. We look forward to continued growth in the new year as connections grow and as the group continues to build a sense of its own identity.
From all at Touchline Tea Stop, we wish you a peaceful Christmas and a happy New Year.