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Christmas & New Year
 in the Forest of Dean
Christmas Meal
Holiday dates : 23rd Dec 2018 to 2nd January 2019
Holidaying are: over 50 festive holidaymakers with this year's elves, Kirstine, Geraint, Wendy
Luke, Miriam, Hazel, Lorraine, Tom, Jess, Heather, Alison, Lou, Daniel & Kathryn.
Sunday 23rd December

The clients arrived throughout the afternoon. Everyone was offered a glass of fizz upon their arrival. Later there was a leisurely meal and everyone had the chance to get to know one another.
Santa Train Monday 24th December

Today is Christmas Eve and some of the group visited the Dean Forest Steam Train where they got to meet Santa ! It was very exciting and presents were given by Santa. The others remained at the hotel and either relaxed, watched TV or opted to make some craft items. Some of the activities included a craft lip balm kit, beading and painting of Christmas baubles.

Around half of the holiday makers opted to go to the Church Service at the Coleford Baptist Church, it was the Baptist Christmas Carol Service. Later a small group opted to go to the midnight mass being held at the St. Margaret Mary Church in Coleford.
Tuesday 25th December

Christmas Day! We had breakfast in the lounge of the hotel and this was followed by a short service and communion. We then had an early lunch everything was lovely the tables were set for Christmas and we had all decided on our food choice before the holiday. The meal was completed by drinks and mince pies. After our meal we had a visit from Santa and everyone received a present to open, very exciting again!

We had a nice relaxing afternoon before our evening meal. We spent the evening in the bar and enjoyed playing games along with a quiz. We had lots of fun and laughter throughout the day and evening. 
Christmas Day
Pantomime Wednesday 26th December

Today was Boxing Day and around 50 clients visited the Pantomime Show in Hereford, it was "Peter Pan". There was an excellent lunch spread of food laid on for us before we watched the superb Panto. There was also a chance to meet some of the cast from the show.
The others who chose to stay behind enjoyed a relaxing day watching TV, films and being creative with the craft activities. Some of the craft activities were "marbling" and decorating boxes.

Later we changed for dinner and after our evening meal time was spent in the bar chatting and relaxing with our new friends and renewing old friendships. There was also some karaoke.
Thursday 27th December

After breakfast some wanted to go shopping in Cinderford, a chance for some retail therapy and clothes for the New Year party. After lunch another group went shopping but this time to Ross on Wye. A few of the holiday makers arrived for their holiday and a few were leaving today. Another group went for a walk in The Forest of Dean and some of the walkers spotted the famous wild boar (they can roam free in the Forest). Later in the evening after our meal we had entertainment with a female singer. It was a great chance to have a dance and enjoy the music.
walk in the Forest
reindeer Friday 28th December

Today one group went to visit the Reindeer Farm in the Cotswolds and while out enjoyed a lovely lunch in a village pub. There was a nice walk passing some straw reindeers and then on towards the real animals. The other group went for a walk to a new park that has recently been built in Coleford. In the evening our meal was followed by a singer and some more live entertainment and dancing into the evening.
Saturday 29th December

Those who didn't visit the reindeer yesterday had the chance to visit today. Followed by a visit to a lovely Garden Centre for lunch.
Some of the others stayed at the hotel. There was a chance to do some craft activities or watch films on the TV. Some of the crafts involved making a mosaic and painting. After our evening meal we spent time in the hotel bar chatting and having fun. 
mosaic activity
evening meal Sunday 30th December

Today a few of the holiday makers were going home and they said their goodbyes. In the morning one group opted to go to the church. After lunch a large group visited the Coleford Cinema to watch the new film " Mary Poppins Returns". Later in the evening we had another lovely meal and afterwards chatted in the hotel bar.
Monday 31st December

New Year's Eve. The hairdressing salon at the hotel opened. Bookings were taken for people to have their hair washed, tinted, styled or restyled along with a blow dry ready to look glamorous for the party later in the evening. There was also a chance for those who requested it to have their nails and makeup done. Everyone got dressed up  and ready for the New Year's Eve Gala dinner and party. There was a chance to take a nice individual photo of each person in their New Year outfit. This could then go into their complimentary photo album. Everyone enjoyed themselves and danced late into the night "Seeing the New Year in".
New Year party
our craft work Tuesday 1st January

New Years Day. After our late night everyone enjoyed a lie in and a late breakfast. Some of the group opted to go for a walk to the Skate Park in Coleford. Some went to see Morris dancing in Whitecroft and they had the opportunity to join in. All the craft items that had been made throughout the holiday were sorted out and finished off ready to take home. As our holiday comes to an end tomorrow we made a start on the packing. In the evening we played bingo and enjoyed our last night together.
Wednesday 2nd January

The last day of our Christmas and New Year holiday and time for everyone to go home. Another successful holiday was had by all at The Bells Hotel.

 One of our walks during the holiday
walk in The Forest of Dean
Stem Train Visit

Arriving for our visit
to The Dean Forest Railway

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