Christmas in Swellendam
Christmas in Swellendam and at Schoone Oordt Country House doesn’t begin until the official Christmas Tree is up. This year, we were fortunate enough to be in Swellendam together as a family and the children were able to decorate our special Schoone Oordt Christmas Tree themselves. Decorating the Christmas Tree is one of our favourite family activities and usually involves tons of tinsel, strings of knotted fairy lights and freshly baked Christmas cookies (using Eureka Mills Flour, farm butter and fresh free range eggs).
The Schoone Oordt Christmas Tree has deep sentimental value as it was handmade by the children themselves (with a little adult supervision). When we still lived on site, Frances, our dear friend and nanny took the children out for a daytrip to Witsand (the closest beach to Swellendam, a short half an hour drive). They spent the day collecting the correct lengthed pieces of driftwood. Windswept and a little sunburned later, they returned triumphant with enough pieces to make a 2metre tall Christmas Tree. Frances assisted them in drilling holes through the centre. Daddy Richard built the wooden base and supplied a strong metal pole and the children, after laying out each piece from biggest to smallest, assembled it. This wonderful Driftwood Tree has been dusted off, brought out and beautifully decorated each year for 6 years and it wouldn’t be Christmas in Swellendam without it.
Chef Wander began the tradition of freshly baking Christmas Cookies to hang on the tree and Chef Obie has continued in the same spirit. The cookies are there for guests and children to sample as they like. This year, our children (particularly Ivy) tucked in a little more successfully than usual and Chef has realised that he needs to triple the mixture before he even starts next year.
I think you’ll agree that the children did a spectacular job of the Schoone Oordt Christmas Tree and excitement is mounting for a busy and special Christmas in Swellendam this year. Thank you to our wonderful guests and beautiful staff for sharing this time of gratitude with us. Thank you to Elana van Zyl for the beautiful photographs.