The holidays are one of the best, most exciting, and most stressful times of year. They’re filled with bright lights, presents, and tons of family time. Unless you’re spending your holidays in the hospital. Instead of the fun things, your days are filled with endless vital signs, blood work, and poor hospital food (sorry dietary, it’s true). Going into the holiday season, I quickly realized how much my heart hurt seeing kids that wouldn’t get to experience the holiday fun I was having outside of work.
So I decided to help make a difference.
Working with my amazing sorority sisters from college (shout-out to Alpha Xi Delta) to collect donations, our hospital was able to receive so many new toys and games for our kids! The feeling I got when I saw kids playing with and receiving their new toys was unreal. We may not be able to take the kids out for the holidays, but we can certainly bring the holidays to them!
Days after our unit received the toys, the holiday season truly kicked into gear! Santa and his elf friends made visits to all of our patients (and brought treats for us nurses) to bring in some Christmas spirit. My holiday scrubs got to be used (peep the hanukkah scrubs in the picture) and I may have had a little too much fun dressing up. Our kiddos even woke up Christmas morning to presents, since Santa always makes a pit stop at the hospital.
We spent our days providing our usual patient care, but trying to add as much extra fun as possible. And it was these bits of extra fun that showed me how much of a difference it made in the mood of our kids and their families. Everyone should have a little joy during the holiday season, and I’m so glad my co-workers and I were able to provide this.
As the holiday season and the year is winding down, it’s the perfect time to reflect and remember all we have done this past year and what we want to accomplish in the next one. Although I’ll save my own resolutions and goals for another post, I do want to leave you with this: what can you do in 2018 to not only help yourself, but truly help the lives of others?
When you toast your champagne or look for someone at midnight to kiss, remember that. And remember the kids and families who will be doing their own apple cider toasts from their hospital rooms tonight.
Happy New Year everyone! Here’s to 2018.