Celebrating Christmas in a traditional fashion

The Glimmering Gardens. Picture: Claire Lewis Photography ()

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Chawton House has reopened for the festive season to celebrate Christmas traditions of days gone by.

Visitors will see the house beautifully dressed with traditional decorations created by Chawton House’s volunteers and trees cut from the Chawton estate.

Chief executive Katie Childs said: “During the 2020 lockdowns, Chawton House became a much-loved and appreciated space for the local community to enjoy during their hour’s exercise or for global audiences to access virtually.

“This year, Christmas at Chawton House celebrates our local festive traditions, from a display on the Knight family tradition of gifting books to the home-made decorations displayed throughout the house.

“We look forward to welcoming back all those who supported us during the most challenging of times, as they come together to celebrate the festivities, now alongside their friends and family.”

A new festive installation, The Twelve Knits of Christmas, is celebrating home-made, traditional craftwork and has been hand-crafted by Chawton House’s volunteer Christmas committee.

Created with materials found around the home, it is a homage to craft – a hobby many took up during the various lockdowns – and the idea of a home-made Christmas.

Chawton House will be open until December 10 from 10am to 3.30pm. The Old Kitchen Tea Room will have a festive menu and the shop will be filled with seasonal delights and stocking fillers.

The house and gardens will then remain open late from December 15 to 23 and December 27 to January 2 so visitors can enjoy an expanded version of The Glimmering Gardens night trail. Follow the twinkling lights, spot the woodland creatures that call Chawton House home and enjoy the gardens after dark.

Tomorrow from 7pm to 9pm, Chawton House’s general assistant and actress Sasha Dean will perform Elizabeth Gaskell’s Christmas ghost tale The Old Nurse’s Story in three acts throughout the house. Tickets cost £12, which includes mulled wine and mince pies on arrival.

A Christmas embroidery workshop with Abigail Rose Creative, to make a wreath including mistletoe, holly and berries, will be held in the Great Hall on December 9 from 6pm to 8pm. The cost is £55, which includes all materials.

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