It’s no secret that the holidays can be a difficult time for those who are hospitalized. But with a little bit of creativity, it’s possible to bring some holiday cheer into your hospital room. Understanding what holiday-related activities and decorations are appropriate for hospitalized children is not as easy as it seems.
Why is it important to decorate a hospital room for the holidays?
It helps patients feel better about being sick. A study published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine found that people who decorated their rooms with Christmas decorations reported feeling less lonely and depressed while they were hospitalized for an illness or injury. The researchers concluded that “the use of seasonal decorations may be a simple intervention to improve patient satisfaction.” A decorated room helps patients feel better about their situation. It also makes them feel less alone.A decorated room helps patients feel better about their situation. It also makes them feel less alone.
Child life specialists help children and their parents make their hospitals stays during holidays as special as possible. When visiting children who are hospitalized during the holidays, one important step is to talk with them and their families about their feelings. What are some things that our family members normally do at home that we can bring into the hospital? What should we postpone until after discharge? Assessing what is most disappointing about being in the hospital during the holidays and recognizing that things are different, is just as important as thinking about some of the most joyous parts of the season.
Here are six ideas to celebrate the holidays, even when you’re in the hospital:
1. Start with a festive bedspread.
This will be the foundation of your holiday decorations, so choose something that really makes a statement. Red and green are always classic Christmas colors, but if you want something different, try a gold or silver bedspread to really make your room shine. Here is a fleece favorite to get you started.
2. Add some twinkling lights.
Lights are a must-have for any holiday decoration, and they’ll help make your hospital room feel warm and inviting. Just be sure to ask your nurse before plugging them in, and never leave them on unattended. Try these twinkling star lights!
3. Get a mini Christmas tree, menorah, or festive faux plant.
A small tree is the perfect way to add some holiday cheer to your room without taking up too much space. You can find these at most stores that sell holiday decorations. Be sure to get one with LED lights so you don’t have to worry about changing any bulbs. Mini, plug-in menorah here.
4. Make a homemade garland.
If you’re feeling crafty, try making your own garland out of construction paper or felt. This is a great activity to do with your kids if they’re visiting you in the hospital during the holidays. Here’s a neutral garland to get you started.
5. Hang up some holiday cards.
One of the best parts of the holidays is getting cards from friends and family members. So why not hang them up in your hospital room for all to see? You can even put them on string like a mini bunting banner.
6. Give out holiday treats.
What’s the holidays without some good old fashioned sweets? If you’re able, try bringing in some cookies or candies to share with your nurses and doctors. They’ll appreciate it, and it’s always nice to spread some holiday cheer!
Another way to decorate a hospital room is with holiday-themed banners or posters. These can be hung on the wall or on the door. You can even make your own banner using construction paper and markers. Just be sure to get permission from the staff before attaching anything to the walls.
If you’re looking for something a little more personal, consider bringing in a holiday-themed stuffed animal or blanket. These can be placed on the bed or in the armchair next to the bed. Some hospitals even allow patients to have real plants in their rooms, so you could consider bringing in a poinsettia or Christmas cactus. Just be sure to check with the staff first to make sure that plants are allowed in the room.
Decorating a hospital room for the holidays doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. A few simple decorations can go a long way towards making a patient feel more comfortable and festive during this special time of year. So if you’re looking for ways to bring some holiday cheer into a hospital room, try some of these ideas.