Christmas season is in full swing at Garden Terrace

Garden Terrace resident Connie MacCallum is seen here with Santa and Mrs. Claus during the Ottawa-area long-term care home’s annual Light Up the Courtyard event.

Garden Terrace resident Connie MacCallum is seen here with Santa and Mrs. Claus during the Ottawa-area long-term care home’s annual Light Up the Courtyard event.

Residents, family members and staff celebrating the holidays together

The Christmas season is in high gear at Garden Terrace, where residents and staff members have embraced spirit of the holidays by decorating the Ottawa-area long-term care home and hosting its annual Christmas-light celebration.

Life enrichment co-ordinator Sylvia Monette says everyone has been “as busy as Santa’s elves.”

“All over the home, you can find the life enrichment staff, along with residents, singing carols as they trim the home’s 12 Christmas trees, garnish the ledges with garland, and adorn the walls with gorgeous ornaments in red, gold and green,” she tells The OMNIway.

Sylvia adds that the outside of the home has also been beautifully decorated.

“The Garden Terrace courtyard is decked out with lighted reindeer, snowmen, Santa and his sleigh, along with twinkling trees full of festive lights and a nativity scene that could rival any other,” she says.

To kick off the Christmas season, the life enrichment staff held their annual Light Up the Courtyard event on Nov. 25. The home’s café was packed with residents and their families. Staff served up hot cocoa, apple cider and homemade sugar cookies made by the dietary staff.

At 7 p.m. sharp, everyone began singing Christmas carols. Everyone’s attention was on the courtyard, where all the lights went on at the same time.

“Cheers, hoots and hollers could be heard throughout the building,” Sylvia says.

But that wasn’t the end of the surprises. Sylvia had called her special friends from the North Pole, Santa and Mrs. Claus, and asked if they could and visit with residents.

Children dressed as reindeer as well as a Frosty the Snowman came into the home, dancing and singing. Santa and Mrs. Claus then arrived with two of their elves.

“Residents smiled from ear to ear as they visited and spread Christmas cheer,” Sylvia says. “Everyone is a kid at Christmas and this event is proof of that.”

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