December 5, 2021

How to Get Families and Staff in the Holiday Spirit

Katie Taylor, CCLS This blog was originally posted for SmileMakers.com here. I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are my own. Happy December everyone! I often wonder if I would enjoy this month as much if I didn’t work with children. I wonder if it’s the magic of winter, the familiar holiday music, or […]

Katie Taylor, CCLS

This blog was originally posted for SmileMakers.com here. I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are my own.

Happy December everyone!
 
I often wonder if I would enjoy this month as much if I didn’t work with children. I wonder if it’s the magic of winter, the familiar holiday music, or the excitement in a child’s face when they receive a wrapped present?

Regardless of what makes me love this month, I do know that it is often very chaotic; especially within the hospital setting. Behind the scenes, Child Life Specialists are accepting, organizing and giving thousands of gifts to children and their families…this is no easy feat! However, as with many things, if you keep the “reason” at the center of your tasks – no matter how trivial they may seem – you can turn chaos into joy.

From jokes to jingles, Child Life Specialists work behind the scenes to make the holidays less stressful and more enjoyable for hospitalized children and families. Here are a few ideas to spread joy in the hospital:

Holiday Garb. It sounds like such a ridiculous thing to say, but imagine you are a 5 year old and you are constantly being visited by doctors, nurses, therapists, etc., all of whom are wearing sterile scrubs. Now imagine your child life specialist comes in and is wearing a Mrs. Claus hat or holiday headband or vest. Seems like a less threatening visitor don’t you think?

Christmas Reversible Sequin Slap Bracelets

Slap Bracelets

Holiday Goodies. This time of year, children are often swamped with holiday goodies from school, extracurricular activities, parties, etc. When they are in the hospital, they may miss out on those exciting surprises. SmileMakers.com has many great options for goodie bags. A few of my favorites are

Plush Christmas Emojis

Christmas Plus Emojis

Christmas Putty

Christmas Putty

Holiday Music. Having a playroom filled with holiday music seems to be very welcoming to patients and their families. I enjoy good ole fashioned CD’s but also recommend creating a playlist of kid friendly holiday hits!

Christmas Toy Mix in 2″ Capsules

Christmas Toy Mix

Holiday Silliness . Jokes, fun facts, trivia…all of them! This is a great way to get your patients, siblings, and other family members thinking (and hopefully smiling). Here are a few to get you started.

  • What do you get if you deep fry Santa? Crisp Cringle.
  • What do snowmen eat for breakfast? Snowflakes.
  • December 4 is National Cookie Day.
  • In the song “Jingle Bells” what kind of sleigh is it? One-horse open sleigh.

Wishing you all a wonderful season spreading joy to your patients and families!

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