What is brain injury rehabilitation like during the holidays? We do our best to come up with festive holiday celebrations and activities, at treatment centers and our residents for patients who will be living with us during the season. Every year each treatment location (and residences) add their own spin to December with some signature events. Brinlee Creek Ranch near McKinney hosts a big holiday party in its great room for patients and families featuring its annual caroling performance by staff in “ugly” Christmas sweaters.
The ranch also holds an Holiday Door Decorating Contest for the treatment room offices. The winner…nursing! Their very artistic use of needles which is surely a first.
BCR also kicked off the traveling Holiday Crafts Sale featuring handiwork from our supported living residents. The sale offers beautiful gift items including jewelry, picture frames, crosses, coasters, gift baskets, canvas signs and wooden holiday signs. Proceeds this year will go toward sponsoring a North Texas family who lost their house in a fire. We hope to buy gifts for the kids and help however we can.
The ranch’s supported living residents provide staff with a special way to give to patients. BCR’s annual Angel Tree features each resident’s name and staff teams choose a patient as an “angel” then surprises the person with gifts. For our long term residents, being remembered with presents means a lot. Thanks to Main House staff for all their work.
BCR also held a blood drive with Carter Blood Center to make sure there’s plenty on hand for the season.
Fort Worth/Watauga’s Whitley Place and Savanna Oaks residence are busy too with holiday celebrations, decking the halls (treatment rooms) and dressing up for a silly theme week competition. Each day is a different theme and patients and staff got in the spirit with holiday socks day, holiday hats day, ugly holiday sweaters day, dress-as-an-elf day and then holiday t-shirt day.
Whitley also holds a holiday potluck lunch and Secret Santa reveal for patients organized by staff. That night, the Pate staff will enjoy a little bonding with some holiday cheer at an after-work happy hour at Il Calabrese.
Dallas’s Villa Creek and Towne Lake residence kicked off the month by joining Operation Shoebox with Dallas’s Stewpot charity, stuffing twenty-three shoe boxes with daily necessities for homeless people. They included toiletries, warm hats and gloves, lip balms, all kinds of things to make living on the streets easier. Our transportation team did the delivery. Big shout-out to VC’s Liz G who coordinated the whole thing.
VC’s decorations went up early to the tune of Christmas carols. Patients from TRILS/ILS headed to Grapevine Mall to do a little holiday shopping and enjoyed a caroling night at Towne Lake residence, organized by a patient’s mom and friends who came with hot chocolate and baked goodies.
The traveling Holiday Craft Sale came to the VC lobby and this time featured a special table with the patient assembled Pate on a Plate cookbook – hand made recipe books initiated by Mary J who is continuing her rehab with us and has made a cookbook each year for her family. Mary was able to continue her tradition without a pause with help from Pate’s Linda Bailey who morphed it into a floor-wide project. Pate staff and patients contributed recipes and the books were assembled by Linda Bailey, Mary and lots of elves. It cost $5 at the holiday sale. For Mary, it’s priceless – and a way to give back during her time with us.
At Towne Lake residence, a holiday desserts night featured with sweets made by patients and a hot chocolate bar. New Year’s holiday celebrations in the residences will include games, parties, snacks and movie nights.
VC staff also unveiled a New Year coat drive, collecting gently used warm winter clothing for homeless people. Hats, coats, gloves, scarves, blankets, even sleeping bags will be coming in to the Dallas office from all locations. Pate staff will head downtown to distribute them. It’s part of an initiative to take the Pate spirit beyond our walls in 2017 and into the community.
Thanks to everybody at Pate for their kindness, donations and willingness to give of themselves this season and all through the year. That is, of course, the greatest gift of all. Cheers to all who created holiday celebrations to make everyone here feel the joy of the season.