Holidays in the Hospital

Spending the holidays in the hospital is hard and not part of anyone’s plan. It is even more difficult for children to navigate. A common question that inevitably comes up is, “Will we still have a Christmas and Thanksgiving if I’m in the hospital?” The answer is of course, YES!

Here are a few ways to celebrate while a loved one is ill:

  • Consider your family’s traditions. What makes your home feel like the holidays? Does your family have a special decorations, favorite meals, or songs? Could you send and receive holiday cards to stay connected? Talk to your hospital staff to arrange bringing those traditions with you.
  • Look for community connections. Check with your hospital or social worker regarding holiday programs. Are visitors coming for holiday activities? Is there a support group or faith-based group that meets regularly for you to join? You are not alone and finding others with a shared experience will bring new relationship opportunities for you and your family.
  • Talk about emotions. Allow yourself and family to share all types of emotions in an open space. This holiday season may look different than you expected and it is ok to express how that makes you feel. Ask your hospital staff if they have references for a counselor or you can someone to talk to. Depending on your situation, these services may be completely free to you or your child.
  • Stay positive. Many studies have found a link between a positive outlook and health benefits. Try focusing on hope, gratitude, and faith. A simple way to get started is by keeping a gratitude journal. Writing down a few things you are thankful for each day will keep gratitude at the forefront of your mind.


How Ronald McDonald House Charities Can Help

Ronald McDonald House Charities provide a home-away-from-home for families while their child receives medical treatment. If your child is receiving medical treatment in San Antonio and you live more than 20 miles away, contact us to see if you are eligible to stay in one of our Houses. The medical services can be in-patient or out-patient and there is no requirement on length of stay.

Our homes are open 24/7 and operate days a year, because unfortunately, childhood illness doesn’t take a day off, so neither do we. Our services include lodging, transportation, and meals. We are grateful for volunteers that cook home cooked meals for our families providing a home-away-from-home feeling.

In our homes, we celebrate the holidays by decorating for the season, providing holiday meals and gifts for the families and even have milk and cookies with Santa. Our homes can accommodate up to four family members per room allowing extended family to help care for your child and spend the holidays together.

Donations from the community ensure our families never have to pay to stay at our House. Sponsor a family for the holiday today and give the gift of togetherness.