Working at a children’s hospital as the year-end holidays approached was both wonderful and tough. It’s great to be available on the day after Thanksgiving because since there’s not a lot going on, you know you will be able to brighten someone’s day in the hospital when most of the country is celebrating or taking a day off. Many chronically ill children are happy to see something fun outside their hospital routine, and employees get a little laugh out of it as well.
As Christmas approached at my hospital, there was excitement in the air; not only did every floor get a Christmas makeover, lots of plans for special events and visits were underway. Sometimes there would be someone famous, or a mini fair, or a party on each floor. There was also always a special Santa Claus visit, along with many elves. Sometimes there were many volunteer Santas available.
At this time of year, many people were also moved to do something nice for someone less fortunate, and there was a tendency to have an overflow of toy donations at the hospital. One employee in the playroom told us that they saved many of the unclaimed toys for those times during the year when no one would donate or volunteer, usually in the summer.
One side effect of all this goodwill at Christmas time was that they did not need our services. Usually The Big Apple Circus would give us two weeks off during the year, and Christmas week was one of them because the hospital had enough entertainment and special events going on. This meant no pay for us, but as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, our job was to go where we were needed. Fortunately, this also meant that we could spend more time with friends and family during this festive season. See the glass half full and have a very Merry Christmas!
Lucy E. Nunez is an LPN and has been a theatrical performer since 2002. She created Nurse Lulu for the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit at Nicklaus Children's Hospital in 2014. She was a resident clown there and at Baptist Children's Hospital. For more information please visit: www.sunnybearbuds.wix.com/buds