It’s Christmas all year at Riverview Manor

Christmas trees with rotating seasonal decorations adorn the walls of both of the home’s dining rooms

For the past 21 months, it has been Christmas year-round at Riverview Manor, thanks to the ingenuity of one of the Peterborough long-term care home’s life enrichment team members.

With limited space in the two dining rooms for Christmas trees – due to COVID-19 pandemic protocols, residents have been spaced six feet apart during mealtimes – Tina Hutchinson came up with the idea to put trees on corner walls in December 2020.

Tina and the life enrichment team attached branches from the home’s artificial Christmas trees to the walls and decorated them with holiday-themed ornaments and lights as they do every holiday season.

After the Christmas season ended, the team decided to leave the trees up and add decorations throughout the year to match seasonal themes, Tina explains.

“So now, decorations for every season, every holiday, are put up on the tree,” she tells The OMNIway.

In February, the tree had a Valentine’s Day theme, in spring, Easter was the theme. In summer, a fisherman adorned the tree accompanied by Canada Day and Father’s Day motifs. With autumn now here, the tree has owls, school buses and Halloween pumpkins.

Tina says having year-round Christmas trees at the home is beneficial on several levels. Aside from saving space in the dining rooms, they also save time, since the trees don’t need to be assembled or dismantled.

They are also conversation pieces for residents and help create a fun, festive atmosphere in the dining rooms.

The decorations also encourage residents to reminisce about favourite memories from various times of the year, Tina adds.

“And everybody always knows what time of year it is by looking at the decorations,” she says. “They love the decorations.”

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