Our souls are sometimes triggered when we least expect it.

From a song, to a scent, a flower or even a twinkle in someone's eye.

Christmas is filled to the brim with traditions that take us straight back to our childhood and the older we get, the more triggers we have. Some are happy times when we remind ourselves of the magic of Christmas and admittedly some are sad when we remember those who are no longer with us. It is certainly an emotional time of year and I’m not even going to guess the country’s mood on December 13th when this paper goes to print.

It’s so easy to get tangled in ghosts of Christmas past and no one can predict the Christmas yet to come. That leaves us in the present, the only one we can grab by the horns and sprinkle with as much glitter and fairy lights as humanly possible.

Hotel du Vin Wimbledon, standing proud as it watches the frozen common, lent itself beautifully to The Wimbledon Christmas Party. Adorned with garlands cascading up the grand staircase, a thick red carpet and Christmas trees all aglow, it was an idyllic setting for a very glamorous night.

The day before, gym kit was on and hands got dirty as we went in search of three Christmas trees in hope of creating a snowy Christmas backdrop. Pines and Needles, situated in Wimbledon Park, gave us three trees for us to donate to the homeless charity Evolve Housing + Support after the party. Learning how to saw the end and lift a 7ft tree from a man in a kilt, we soon drove them to the hotel and covered them with snow.

Wimbledon Times:

The next morning, the sun shone bright and it looked like a perfect Christmas morning. There was great excitement as 250 guests had bought their ticket, their party attire and arranged babysitting. As the temperature dropped and evening fell; sparkles, sequins, suits and bow ties poured into the hotel. Offered a glass of fizz by the hotel, guests walked into the sound of The Chase Choir singing carols as they mingled and chatted with other guests. For anyone who felt less sparkly than others, there was a glitter makeup pop-up run by Studio Glo who were on hand to add shimmer to lips and glitter to cheeks. As the choir sang, two Christmas ballerinas from the Jones Academy in LED tutus pirouetted delicately in front of the Christmas trees. It wasn't long until a familiar sound of HoHoHo boomed around the room and what looked like the real Father Christmas sat by the fireplace to tell guests if they have been naughty or nice. Celebrity Santa was a surprise from Kisiel Group, an award winning construction company based in Wimbledon, who asked Santa to give candy canes for guests to hang on their tree and were proud to donate a large gingerbread house to the charity raffle. Rotary gave a Chronograph watch with rose gold tone case. Other generous prizes donated were: a private wine tasting experience at Friarwood, afternoon tea for two at The Ivy Café, dinner and Prosecco at Megan’s, a flower arrangement by Cherished Blossoms and Bed & Breakfast at Hotel du Vin Wimbledon.

Wimbledon Times:

As the choir left the stage to a well-earned glass of bubbles, Garage legend MC Kie and his DJ entourage entered the dj box, kindly lent to us by Flex FM, and the Christmas party moved to the dance floor. It always makes me smile seeing the Prince Harry lookalike at a party, but this time he was accompanied by Meghan and David Beckham lookalikes.

Everyone throwing a party has to have a moment, not captured on camera, although it probably was and mine was with Celebrity Santa. Adorned with a Bee Smith golden holly and pink rose headpiece, I watched with glee at our delighted guests dancing. The Mayor of Merton Janice Howard and the Deputy Edward Foley were smiling, the ballerinas were twirling and Santa and I shared a dance. I looked into his blue sparkly eyes and I was taken back to the ghosts of my Christmas past. I shed a tear, took a breath and smiled, for The Wimbledon Christmas Party was a triumph. Most importantly, the charity Evolve were overwhelmed with the generosity from local businesses and the kind people who bought raffle tickets on the night. They were delighted that the money raised will help them continue to provide vital services such as counselling, health and work opportunities to the 120 young people in Merton who would otherwise be on the streets this very cold winter.

Wimbledon Times:

Wishing you all a moment to look back, a moment to look forward, a moment to share the love to those who need it most and of course, a moment to sparkle.

Merry Christmas (present).