GOING to work is like Christmas every day for an award-winning hotel worker.

While most people have been enjoying their holidays, the thought of summer – which officially ends this weekend – has been banished from the mind of Sally Jones, as she carves out a successful new role at the Holiday Inn Runcorn.

For the former Frodsham High School pupil, the past three months have been more about Santa than sun, sea and sand, after being appointed as the hotel’s new Christmas co-ordinator.

And despite the credit crunch, bookings for the hotel’s Christmas lunches, dinners and special party nights in November and December are already way ahead of this time last year.

“It may seem unusual to be talking, writing and meeting about Christmas all day, every day, during the summer but it is an important role,” said 23-year-old Sally, a former Employee of the Year at the hotel where she has worked since she was 16.

“To create a programme of activity that guarantees fun, and meets everybody’s needs and pockets, requires a dedicated focus – even in the summer.

“We started taking our first bookings for Christmas 2008 as soon as last year’s festivities were over – and there has been a constant flow of inquiries and bookings throughout the summer.

“This is a clear signal that the economic climate is not as bad as it is portrayed – or that people are determined to have the very best Christmas come what may.”

The hotel’s general manager, Adam Munday, said: “The demand for Christmas parties is not only getting bigger, but it is also starting earlier in the year. It’s a key time for the community and it is a key time for us and we decided we needed a dedicated co-ordinator.”