Bringing Christmas Cheer to Amazing Kids

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Know Where to Go: ER vs. Urgent Care


Christmas can be very stressful for families who have a child in the hospital. Parents just want to be home with their kids for the holidays. When a child is hospitalized during this time, it is a total disruption from the normal Christmas routine and activities.

We have a department of ten child life specialists in the children’s hospital, and our goal is to help kids understand their healthcare journey – we explain why they are in the hospital, what it means when the doctor says they are sick. We are there to educate children about any sort of procedure that they may need in the hospital, and our goal is really just to help them to understand and to decrease the anxiety or fear that they may be feeling. And during the holidays, we try to bring some Christmas cheer into the hospital.

We bring some familiar holiday sights and activities into the hospital for the kids who are with us. For example, there’s a little boy who has been in our hospital for weeks, and his room didn’t look like Christmas. So we went in and painted a Christmas tree on a big sheet of paper and put presents under it, and we decorated his room with paper chains – just little things to make him feel like it was Christmas – and he gave us a big smile.

Going from room to room, we see parents who bring in little decorations for their children – I’ve seen Elf on a Shelf all around our hospital. We encourage them to do those little things and help them in anyway we can.

We also have so much support from our community all year long, but especially during the holidays. Last year, we started our Deck the Halls Holiday Drive, and members of the community pitched in to make Christmas extra special in our children’s hospital. With the donations we received, Santa Claus came on Christmas Eve and passed out presents to all of the kids who are in the hospital. Sometimes with kids in the hospital, parents just are not able to go shopping for gifts, and these presents bring out some big smiles from our kids.

We are Decking the Halls of our children’s hospital again this year, and it’s not too late to bring a little extra Christmas joy to a child in the hospital.


About Sharon Wesberry

Sharon Wesberry, CCLS, is the Manager of Child Life Services at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital.

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