American Life Fund > Blog > Uncategorized > A Cancer Christmas: 5 Tips to Help Loved Ones Who Are in the Hospital for Christmas!

A Cancer Christmas: 5 Tips to Help Loved Ones Who Are in the Hospital for Christmas!

December is supposed to be the most festive, joyful time of the year. The air is cold and crisp, the scent of Christmas trees is in the air, and Christmas carols can be heard on the radio. For many, it symbolizes the best time of the year. Getting ready to bake cookies, laugh and share Christmas memories with loved ones. However, for cancer patients and all patients in general, it can be something totally different.  Being surrounded by an unfamiliar bed, TV and four white walls in a hospital room is not how most foresee their Christmas being spent. Being poked by needles, unfamiliar hospital staff coming and going, no yummy Christmas treats or decorated Christmas tree equals no fun! Here are five ideas for things you can do for your hospitalized friend or family member during the holiday:

  1. Quality time is priceless. By far, the most cherished gift of all is time spent with family members and friends that go out of their way to visit patients in the hospital. It shows how much they truly care about the patient and how much they mean to them. Everyone has busy schedules but there is no better way to lift someone’s spirit then by swinging by for a couple of minutes to just say hi. Telling stories and creating laughter can be some of the best healing power!  Having visitors not only lifts spirits but can also always the time to pass by faster, creates a less stressful environment and allows a patient to feel more comfortable and at ease with their situation which can help them sleep better!
  2. Creative gift giving for patients. Give gifts that patients can use in the hospital. Gifts that help pass the time are the best. While a patient is receiving chemo treatmens an iPad can provide internet, games, music and be a great tool for patients to feel at home. An e-book is also another wonderful gift idea. Something like a Kindle, can give a patient the freedom to access their favorite books at their fingertips. A cozy robe or UGG slippers can also add a special touch for someone who is in the hospital.
  3. Offer a helping hand. Most patients do not plan on spending the holidays in the hospital and still have things back at their home that need taken care of.  Don’t be afraid to offer to help out. Something as simple as spending an afternoon at their house doing yard work, raking leaves, or getting the mail can mean so much. Taking an hour or two to clean their house, vacuum or do laundry also goes a long way. Lastly, food is always best for the soul! Spend some time in the kitchen making meals that can be frozen and stored in their freezer for when they return home from the hospital.  Instead of worrying about cooking, they can put all their efforts into recovery!
  4. Just listen.   You can never call too much.  Just take a second to send a quick, inspirational text to let them know you are thinking of them. Call in the morning or at night when they may miss friends and family the most. Allow the patient to talk about whatever is on their mind at that moment or that day. Be a shoulder to lean on.
  5. Become a holiday interior decorator! Bring Christmas to the patient! Bring in a mini Christmas tree with homemade ornaments to jazz up the patient’s hospital room! Hang mini lights to give the room the perfect holiday feel! Make homemade Christmas cards from family and friends to take to the patient so they can be reminded how loved they are by so many!
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