Halloween at City of Hope
The year-end holiday season brings joy to most. But for hospital patients anywhere who are restricted to their beds and rooms, the occasions of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and even Halloween can be an isolating and sad time away from their homes and loved ones.
At City of Hope, we do not simply treat a patient’s medical condition … we provide comfort and compassion to patients all year-round, making the holidays a time of joy and hope.
That is why our staff and volunteers focus much attention on making certain that the holidays are a fun and exciting time for those we serve. Take a look at what we will be doing in the coming months with your continued support.
Our pediatric patients miss out on “trick-or-treating” in their own neighborhoods, so we create a neighborhood experience for them. City of Hope staff, volunteers and parents work with the children to make costumes, while children go “door-to-door” collecting their goodies from stations across our campus. The occasion is enjoyed not only by the kids, but also by the older patients who come out to see the costumes and hand out candies.
Thanksgiving & Togetherness
Hanukkah at City of Hope
What is Thanksgiving without turkey, dressing and cranberry sauce? No one wants to eat alone and not enjoy the traditions of this special day. So a special meal is prepared and the family and friends of our patients are encouraged to join us. After a full dinner, our patients, their visitors and the staff gather together in the common rooms to enjoy the day’s football games.
Hanukkah & Christmas Joy
The final month of the year is busy with a wide assortment of events and activities. The season begins with our annual holiday “PJ Party,” which includes visits by celebrities from Disney, a wonderful dinner and the gift of a new pair of pajamas for each patient. Carolers can be found strolling the hallways to entertain patients who cannot leave their rooms. Santa also makes appearances and makes sure no one goes without a gift. Meanwhile, Hanukkah and Christmas religious services lift the spirits of those patients wishing to attend.
Top tips for caregivers during the holidays
To help make this holiday season a more joyful time for loved ones in treatment for cancer or other serious conditions, City of Hope offers the following tips:
1. Amend your traditions
Give yourself permission to create new activities that are more convenient. Sometimes low-key activities, like writing a letter, can be meaningful in special ways.
2. Conserve your energy
Prioritize your activities and choose only the most important ones. Focusing on fewer activities that matter more to you may help restore your spirit and renew your energy.
3. Celebrate with others
However you celebrate, plan to include others — whether it is your friends, family, faith community or other group — to provide fellowship and moral support for each other.
4. Take care of your spiritual self
Take the time to renew your inner spiritual resources. The holidays can be hectic, but they also can be a time of reflection and centering. Taking care of yourself now means you will have more to offer your family in the months ahead.
5. Set reasonable expectations
Can you really decorate like Martha Stewart or cook like Rachael Ray during the holidays, when you have also got to be a nurse, confidant, driver and master organizer? Be realistic about what you can accomplish and keep your focus on providing the best care possible to your loved one — while staying connected to your family and friends.