CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi – Shoreline patient, Edward Smith, was all smiles when he picked up an ornament that was on his meal tray on Christmas morning. Even though he had been admitted to the hospital during the holiday, he still enjoyed having a little bit of Christmas in his room. His room had been adorned with a poinsettia, a snowman, a miniature Christmas tree and now, a hand decorated ornament.

Once he finished admiring his small gift, he thanked Volunteer Director, Marissa Carrillo, and Volunteer Coordinator, Gina Cunningham, and asked if they could set his ornament in front of his snowman so he could get glimpses of it while he watched television. Once it was placed, he loved it so much, he asked for another one so they could be hung on either arm of the snowman.

Apart from the one ornament that had been delivered to Mr. Smith, an estimated 510 ornaments were delivered to patients on all five campuses of CHRISTUS Spohn on Christmas morning.

The ornament decorating tradition began in 2010 when the CHRISTUS Spohn Volunteers began providing Associates with ornaments to decorate for patients who would be spending the Christmas holiday within our care.

During the second week of December, CHRISTUS Spohn Volunteers set up a table outside the cafeteria of each CHRISTUS Spohn campus with gems, glue and pre-painted ornaments. Associates and families of patients stop by during their free time to decorate an ornament. Afterwards, Volunteers adorn the completed ornaments with a bow and a sticker that says, “Merry Christmas.”

Before Christmas morning, all completed ornaments are taken to the Dietary department where Dietary staff makes sure every patient’s meal tray has an ornament.

Volunteer Director, Marissa Carrillo said, “Now we have reached the point where Associates say, ‘I do an ornament each year!’ or ‘I’ll be back to do my ornament, can’t miss out on doing this.’ “The great thing about doing these ornaments is not only seeing our Associates take time out of their day to decorate an ornament, but also seeing families of patients join in on the fun.”

“When we put the ornaments on the meal trays, it’s such a beautiful moment. Just knowing that their Christmas day will be a little brighter through our ornaments is what makes our Volunteers and Associates happy. Not everyone has the opportunity to spend Christmas with their family, but we make sure they still enjoy a little of it while they are here,” said Gina Cunningham.

We want to thank all of our Volunteers, doctors, Associates, and families of patients who stopped by to decorate an ornament and to our Dietary department for helping place and distribute the ornaments to our patients on Christmas morning.

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