I’m not going to lie…there was a lot of discussion as to whether we should continue this Christmas Party. There was a lot of monitoring the news for updates and a lot of sleepless nights weighing up the pros and cons of going ahead or cancelling.
The fact that swung it for me was how few people backed out despite my emails. (And the three days it had taken volunteers, Hiccups families and committee, to wrap the presents!) There was obviously a general feeling of really, really needing a party that people could go to! And I think I could relate to that. It’s been a really hard 18 months and more so for a lot of our families who have experienced so many challenges to overcome.
So, it was decided to go ahead but the discussions that followed that were how to make it as safe as possible. It was agreed that negative lateral flows would have to be proven before entry and a facemask worn throughout (unless sat and eating of course!). And again, you all raised to the challenge. There was no grumbling. In fact, we received emails thanking us for making it safer for everyone.
So onwards we plowed because the show must go on! And even when we got a phone call from the Magician the day before, sadly telling us he couldn’t attend as he had caught Covid, to losing half of our Committee/Volunteers for Covid reasons also, we plowed onwards still. We were in now, there was no going back!
And do you know what – it was amazing. It was crazy. It was hectic. It was stressful. We were run off our feet and shattered at the end of it but it was truly, undeniably amazing.
It was so wonderful to see you all. To see the children and adults having a great time. To see familiar faces and finally meet new faces that we have an email correspondence for but have never had a chance to meet. And to see the faces when Santa walked up to the table and of the children engaging and playing on the dance floor.
And just a massive thank you to everyone that pulled together to make this party a massive success. The entertainers that worked flat out from start till finish ensuring every child went away happy. Their dedication and commitment to creating magic and joy is truly inspiring! We really landed on our feet finding these guys. Never letting them escape!
A huge thank you to all our volunteers that gave up their time to wrap presents, organise and coordinate on the day (and donate a tonne of fidget poppers – you know who you are!) And especially to our fabulous teenage elves and the rest of the family who totally blew me away with their willingness to pitch in on the day.
To StoreFirst and the Armouries for making this possible and donating time, a truck and the room to our Charity. It literally couldn’t happen without them as I’m not sure there is anywhere else that can host a party this size for us! And to Alison from Celebration Balloons who creates the amazing displays of balloons that you see decorating the room. Incredible talent!
And finally a massive thank you to all you guys. For helping us by following all our guidelines, for not moaning about the changes, for accepting the fact that it was a little more crazy this time. For just being you. I get comments from the entertainers telling me how lovely you all are. And it is true. You are the best.
I think despite Covid, we had the highest number of attendees ever so for everything to go as smoothly as it did, is testament to everyone working hard to ensure it did.
You guys really know how to party and I’m very glad that the show did go on!
What the families said:
“Thank you sooooo much for such a lovely special day!! We really really enjoyed it and the kids presents were amaaaazing! The best we’ve ever had from a Santa! Thank you so much for all your hard work and all that you do for the charity and families. My only regret is that it’s taken me so many years to attend! Thank you also for the lovely fidget poppers! Xx”
“We had a great time!! She loved dancing with Suzie Sparkles. & they both loved their present. Enjoyed a short wander around the Armouries afterwards.”
“Thank you so much for a beautiful Xmas rainbow party ! The boys loved it. Meeting Santa was something H loved doing and it got me thinking , while your fabulous at giving our special children experiences – thought also how much fun his younger brother had today. Our siblings have it harder than most and have to be resilient, patient and much more, so today was also wonderful to see my other child having the best time too. Rosy red cheeks and a smile from ear to ear. Thanks very much little hiccups. You are a wonderful lot xxx”
“Thanks so much for hosting an amazing party! A and her cousins had a lovely time! — feeling happy.”
“Thank you little hiccups for a great party kids had a lovely time and got some great gifts from Santa.”
“Thank you very much for a wonderful party, huge appreciation for those involved in organising, entertaining and making it a safe and happy event.”
“W had an amazing time. Thank you so much“
“Thank you little hiccups for a beautiful party. For bringing families together that haven’t seen each other since COVID Hit. For conducting today’s party in a safe way making every one feel comfortable.And for truly being the best.”
“Thank you for the great party. I have love hearts all over my fridge from crafts, baby shark stuck in my head its been a wonderful day out x”
“Thank you for today. Much needed Christmas fun x”
“Today was absolutely amazing. Thank you for all you do!! X”
“Another lovely event. Always great to see everyone. Thank you for having us x“
“Thank you. We had a lovely time at the party!”
“Fab party. Little lady loved it.”
That was the best party yet. Thank you x
Links to our amazing supporters:
- Venue: https://royalarmouries.org/venue/royal-armouries-museum/
- Dorothy, Glinda and Santa: http://www.susie-sparkles.co.uk
- Facepainting and Balloons: https://face-painting-uk.com/
- Balloon decorations: https://www.rothwellballoons.co.uk/