So it’s that time of year again; the time of year when we fetch out the tree and the boxes of baubles to begin the festive and potentially chaotic journey of putting up the Christmas decorations. Now at Hardwick this is no different. Aside from the fact that rather than your average 6ft tree, we’ve opted for two trees that are 18 feet tall – higher than your average double decker.
The first challenge was actually getting the trees into the house – definitely a team effort. As you can imagine getting an 18ft Christmas tree anywhere is quite a task – without being surrounded by historic collections in a 16th century mansion. Once they were up we began the process of adding lights, beads and baubles to the gigantic entrance hall trees; all in beautiful and traditional gold’s and reds.
While the bigger trees were being decorated, myself and Judy got to work on decorating the trees in the kitchen with paper garlands, golden bows and ornaments handmade by local school children. Barbara worked on adding beautiful garlands to the staircase; decorated with pine cones, beading and baubles as well as creating the wreath that hangs outside the Hall. The entire house was lit up with candles. Along with the usual decorations we have a Christmas cracker trail, which ties in with this year’s theme – where children can follow along a route and read the story of the Christmas Carol, all of which were handmade.
A particular challenge – as you might have imagined; was getting the star on top of the tree, or in this case trees. At home this might involve getting the tallest person in the house to stand on their tiptoes and there you have it. With that not being an option, our method involved our House & Collections manager Nigel on top of stepladders using a little ingenuity by use of a curtain rail to hook the star on top of our wonderful 18ft trees.
After seeing the hard work of the team of staff and volunteers at Hardwick, I have to say the Hall is looking stunning. If you want to see it for yourself, Hardwick is open until December 22nd – so don’t miss out!