Dive into Christmas – Herm-style

IT’S time for Hermites to start looking forward to the Christmas festivities.

The brave participants in last year’s Christmas morning Polar Bear Swim.
The brave participants in last year’s Christmas morning Polar Bear Swim.

IT’S time for Hermites to start looking forward to the Christmas festivities.

First up are the Christmas shopping weekends throughout December. The gift shops and the Mermaid Tavern are open all day on Saturdays and Sundays. It is a perfect opportunity for families to come over for a brisk walk round the island and then warm up in the pub with lunch and mulled wine by a roaring fire.

Thanks to Travel Trident, all ferry sailings are free on the special shopping days. The remaining ones are tomorrow, plus Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 December.

Over the coming weeks we have lots going on. The winter work is well under way, both out on the estate and in the buildings. More bathrooms are being renovated at the White House hotel and accommodation everywhere is being painted and spring-cleaned.

In the midst of all this, there is plenty of time for celebrations and parties.

Christmas on Herm is a real family occasion. We have our residents’ carol-singing evening, which involves trotting from house to house for a singalong, drinks and nibbles at each location. The island Christmas dinner at the Mermaid always attracts a flying visit from Santa and presents for the children.

On Christmas Eve there is a carol service in St Tugual’s Chapel for residents and holiday cottage guests, followed by drinks in the Manor and, on Christmas morning, the annual Polar Bear Swim.

New Year is party time. As well as the holiday cottages being let, hotel rooms are available for those who want B and B and the themed fancy dress party at the Mermaid is always a popular night, finishing off the year in style.

Far from being ‘closed for the winter’, as many people seem to think, we have plenty to do to keep us warm through the chillier months.