December is the season to eat, drink and be merry, so we started our Christmas festivities with a delicious meal at the local pub. As usual, we all enjoyed not only the food but a lively social afternoon filled with laughter.

Later in the month we held our Christmas party, attended by families and friends of Abbeyfield. Visitors and residents alike, tucked into the buffet spread and purchased tickets for our bumper raffle. With a treasure trove of hampers and numerous other prizes such as chocolates, wine, toiletries and more, the tickets sold like hot cakes and we raised a wonderful £258 for the resident’s fund.

What could be more traditional entertainment at Christmas than panto, and ‘Aladdin’ at the Towngate Theatre in Basildon has received amazing reviews. We all love a bit of slapstick comedy combined with big dance numbers, so all those residents able to walk and make a step up, joined us for the outing. It was well worth the trip, with incredible dancing and choreography, plus outstanding performances from the cast.

Finally we had our house Christmas dinner, complete with all the trimmings – a chance for Octagon residents, committee and staff to sit down together and celebrate once more. We hope that you and your families have enjoyed yourselves as much as we have and look forward to seeing what 2018 holds.