I love Christmas, but as a seasonairre it is an entirely different experience! If you’re contemplating going on a winter season, this will hopefully leave you with no misconceptions!
I realised that things would be slightly different this year quite early on, as I reflected that, while at home my family would be slowly waking up to open their stockings left by Santa, here I was, scrubbing scrambled egg off the bottom of the pan. It just felt… wrong… this isn’t how Christmas is meant to be spent. Well, it turns out it is when you work in the bustling kitchen of a busy hotel striving to put on a 9 course Christmas dinner. 9 courses I hear you ask. Yep. 9 courses. I suddenly understood why many of the chefs hadn’t been eagerly anticipating Christmas, (I take back all the times I had called them Scrooge!)
Although I talk about the chefs not looking forward to Christmas, it sorta sneaked up on all of us, with none of us having much time to get excited about it. It just doesn’t feel particularly like Christmas, when you’re so far from family and working so hard. Even skiing, donning a Santa hat, and listening to every Christmas song under the sun hoping to get excited, my attempts were to little avail! Nonetheless, it makes for a pretty humorous video!
Christmas Day is the most hectic, busiest and possibly stressful day of the entire season, and even the hospitality calendar and therefore, there is potential for it to not be a great day. Thankfully that was not the case and both guests and staff were in high spirits! Among staff there was very much a collective feeling of unity; an understanding that everyone was away from their families and just trying to enjoy the day. This was even more so after an all-staff cooked breakfast complete with Buck’s Fizz. Although there were obviously times where you will find yourself begrudging having to work, it was good to be kept busy and not dwell on missing family! And in all honesty, no-one found work too much of a chore as Christmas hats and jumpers frequented the hotel and thanks to earlier preparation, our head chef snuck us out to the pub for an hour and bought us all a drink.
Something many people enjoy about Christmas Day is a tasty, oversized, relaxing Christmas Dinner. I’d half hoped for one of these myself; I was deluded. Instead, a plate of cheap chicken nuggets, chips and beans had been laid out for us to enjoy. And we had to eat quick; the restaurant had to be turned around for the guests. Not quite what I had in mind! Having spoken to other seasonairres here, it is unlikely you’ll go without altogether however, and we were no exception, enjoying a massive dinner on Boxing Day, a day when 80% of the staff were not working. This became our Christmas Day as along with the meal, we had a Secret Santa, a big group ski in the morning and a big group night out in the evening.
All things considered and from my one day’s experience, I’d say that once you accept that Christmas will not be the family event it is back home, and decide to make the most of it, a season Christmas will still be a day to remember, and the fact you’re spending it away will hopefully not deter you from missing out on a season altogether!