Christmas has arrived at Charlecote. There are baubles galore, stockings being sewn, candy canes everywhere and even an angel on a litter picker. The festive cheer may seem a little early but in order to decorate the huge tree in the Great Hall and to prepare for the arrival of Father Christmas and his grotto, we’ve had to start early.
As Conservation Assistants, this time of year is strange- it almost feels as if we are on our Christmas holidays! We down tools (well dusters, wax, brushes and vacuums) and devote ourselves to all things Christmas.
This started on Monday, when we spent the day placing boards, dust sheets and plastic on the floors. This protects the historic floors from the Christmas trees. Objects which could be knocked over by the arrival of the trees were also moved, including a couple of heavy busts.
On Tuesday, the Christmas trees arrived and the festive cheer really began as we started to decorate the house. We carefully removed the dinner set from the dining room table, vacuumed and folded away the table cloth, before decorating the table.
By Wednesday we had decorated the Christmas trees, Great Hall, Billiard Room and Dining Room. The furniture is protected from the rough surface of the garlands by a layer of plastic and green velvet. The tree in the Great Hall has so far been the most time consuming task and has involved 4 House Elves (who have a good head for heights), 3 different ladders, 4 strings of lights and a litter pick to be able to place the angel at the top of the tree.
We have been busy House Elves this week, but we’re by no means finished. Father Christmas is arriving in the Drawing Room next week. We’ve already moved some of the furniture into other rooms in order to protect it as well as to make space for the grotto. Next week we’ll give you an update on the grotto, we can’t wait to get started!