Bringing Holiday Cheer to a Hospitalized Loved One

Spending time in a hospital isn’t ideal, especially over the holidays. If you have a friend or family member in the hospital this holiday season, we offer suggestions to bring some holiday cheer to your loved one.

With all the items below, however, be sure to get pre-approval from the hospital staff first so you don’t interfere with patient care or violate any safety regulations.

Ideas include:

  • Decorate the hospital room. This could include a wreath, small tree, menorah, or New Year’s streamers.
  • Bring your loved one’s favorite holiday item from home. Maybe it’s an ugly Christmas sweater, cozy blanket, Santa’s hat, dreidel, or favorite ornament.
  • Offer to help with holiday tasks that your loved one may be concerned about, like purchasing or wrapping presents, or addressing and mailing holiday cards. You may be able to do some of this online together in the hospital.
  • Bring cards or presents that were sent to your loved one’s home to the hospital.
  • Watch a holiday movie or play music. Read a poem, letter, or short story aloud to your loved one.
  • Arrange to Facetime other family members or friends who want to share get-well and holiday wishes.
  • Consider a holiday gift that can be used while in the hospital, like a book, warm socks, or a special treat, if allowed. Or better yet, offer to help at home by picking up mail, doing yardwork, or light housekeeping.
  • Help your loved one prepare for other expected visitors. You can comb and style his or her hair, apply hand or foot lotion, provide a touch of makeup, and arrange clothing or bedding appropriately.

Any gesture likely will be appreciated, but remember that your friend or family member is in the hospital to heal. Keep your visits brief so they have plenty of quiet time to rest and sleep. You can come back the next day when your loved one is refreshed and ready for visitors again.

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