As residents move between the two wings of the Fraser Hope Lodge, they pass by 10 very unique Christmas trees.
One tree features gold and red traditional garb, another conjures up memories of fresh snowfall with white lights and baubles. One tree has transformed into a hockey skate-wearing gnome with red mittens and a hockey stick to boot.
Yet another tree is a homage to the year that has been – a year like no other – featuring gloves, toilet paper and masks, a garland reading Dr. Bonnie Henry’s oft-repeated slogan “be kind, be calm, be safe” as well as a photo of the top doc atop the creation, just below the Christmas star.
An idea conjured up by two staff members at Hope’s long term care facility, the Christmas tree decorating challenge was helped along by donations from the community of trees and decor said Dr. Catherine Wiebe. The director of clinical operations at Fraser Canyon Hospital said Christmas is looking very different for residents at Hope’s only long term care facility, so the trees are a welcome addition during the holidays and a welcome reprieve for staff.
“The staff all formed teams, and they each decorated their respective trees over several days…and they really enjoyed working on it,” Wiebe said. “It just made such a fun atmosphere in the building and for the residents.”
The provincial visiting restrictions remain in place for the Lodge and other seniors homes, which means only one designated loved one will be able to visit residents this holiday. And while resident suites have been decorated, this hasn’t been possible to the extent that they normally are Wiebe said, due to infection control measures in place.
“The Christmas trees look gorgeous, and they created so much fun. It has been a stressful year, so it’s nice to see the staff engaged and having fun and the residents enjoying them,” she said, adding that thanks should go to the community members who donated, as well as staff who thought of the challenge as well as those who “poured their heart and soul into [decorating] those trees, they’re just beautiful works of art.”
Residents of the Lodge will not only get to admire but will also be voting on their favourite decorated tree.
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