We have had some miserable and rained out days at the Sanctuary during our Open Day Season and usually on those days you can count the visitors on the fingers of both hands. Yesterday's first of four Christmas Open Days took the cake however. I have never been in so much mud, so soaking wet and cold in my entire life. It was right out miserable, but that didn't deter over 100 people from visiting with the donkeys and spending lots of money in the boutique purchasing Donkey related Christmas items and making gift sponsor ships or just plainly donating money to our cause. It was amazing, I worked the first three hours in the boutique and was very busy with sponsorships. So the Christmas rush has definitely begun, and on Cheryls desk were over 170 pieces of mail from one day, which all will be either doations, sponsorships or mail orders, so the next few weeks until Christmas will be extremely busy, "all nighter and leave my office door closed I can't talk to anybody right now" busy. And starting next week I will be working full time in the office at the DSC until Christmas.
Well most of the donkeys opted to be inside their shelters and the barn, but there was the odd little creature that stood pitiful in the middle of the field in the pouring rain, head hanging low and right out depressed looking, dripping wet and just like a little lost soul. I didn't even take pictures because I didn't want my camera to get wet. The barn was buzzing with people, listening to Christmas stories, sipping hot chocolate or apple cider and munching on some goodies. While the donkeys that were left in stalls on stall rest were all wondering about all this action and turmoil in the barn. Open Day was finished at four and I embarked on my next donkey adventure of the day. Together with another volunteer and Pansy and Monte we took part in the "Living Bethlehem" perfomance at the Crieff Hills Conference Centre. We were together with Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus in a Manger. And again despite the pouring rain there were hundreds of people taking in this tour back in time to revist the story of Jesus' birth. It was nicely done as we found out after the last group had left and we were walking around watching the different scences. Monte and Pansy were fine for the first little while just happily munching away on their hay, but after a while they began being restless and wanting to rearrange the scene. Monte in particular decided he needed to be more the centre of attention and placed himself right between Mary and her baby and stole the show. In between performances ( I think all together there were eight) the donkeys loved to check out the place and we made quite a few rounds on the property in the dark on lantern lit pathways, of course in the pouring rain. But Monte and Pansy were just loving the walks. But we were all glad when it was finally over at 8 pm and I was in the warm car on my way home. I sure slept good last night.