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Holiday Traditions at the NICU
Santa Came to Visit
Traditions around the holidays are important. By definition, tradition is "the handing down of customs from generation to generation."
So how was that tradition celebrated in the Neonatal Intensive Care, where 51 infants were going to be spending their first Christmas?
The staff and volunteers came together recently to make tradition a reality for the parents of those infants. Tiny little red hats were knitted. Red blankets were embroidered with 2009. Footprints of each infant were placed in a clear ball ornament. Cards were made.
The dreams of having a first-Christmas picture with Santa became a reality when the leadership staff dressed as Santa, Mrs. Claus and elves.
There were many tears of joy among parents as they watched Santa cuddle or put his face close to their infant. While shopping, a mom said she watched as children climbed on Santa's lap and cried knowing her child would not have that experience — and then she saw Santa in the NICU.
A dad, 6 feet 4 inches, with his infant son’s tiny fingers wrapped around his huge finger, let the tears fall as he thanked Santa for the picture, because his wife was still an inpatient in another hospital and he would be able to show her the picture.
What makes life special? Caring about what is important for our patients and families, the joy of giving, compassion and caring, and the realization that, when we give, we receive so much more.
Posted on Dec 23, 2009 in