It’s around this time each year that we begin those annual mumblings and murmurings to each other, along the lines of “I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas!” and “Hasn’t this year just flown by?”
They rise to a crescendo as December gets into full swing, spurred on by the omnipresent reminders that we are well and truly in the festive season.
Christmas tunes fill the airwaves and department stores, pageants roll through the towns and cities, decorations adorn the streets and fill our homes – and they all combine to project and radiate an unmistakable optimism as we race towards the end of another year.
Then there are the usual Christmas work shows to attend, that last minute Christmas shopping excursion to tackle because you again forgot about Aunt Ethyl’s present – she religiously buys you a set of hankies each year, this year’s model no doubt being a replica of the still-unopened ones from last year.
Oh, and let’s not forget our attendance at our children’s Christmas Carols events!
While some of us sit in the school halls sweating uncomfortably after a long day at work, our hearts are invariably lifted as we see our children bursting with pride as they belt out some beloved Christmas tunes or give an interesting modern twist to one of the old classics they’ve been tirelessly rehearsing for a good few months.
For most, the festive end of year is a special time to be shared among family and friends. For many, it’s also a reminder of those family members or beloved friends unable to be with us and join in the celebrations, for any number of reasons. And for others, especially those living alone or far from family and friends, it can be a time of extreme loneliness.
Working within the hospital and aged care industry, Christmas has always been a time of mixed blessings. There is, of course, the downside of some of us having to work on the day.
But as a community hospital, we appreciate that the importance and sense of community is no greater than at this time of year. We go out of our way to inject a festive yuletide into the wards that hopefully brightens up the occasion and delivers Christmas cheer to all patients, residents and staff denied the luxury or opportunity to be at home to celebrate with loved ones.
We hope they have a very special Christmas Day.
To all our prior patients, residents and their families, I would like to thank you for selecting North Eastern as your hospital or aged care facility of choice and wish you the very best for Christmas. I hope, too, that 2018 is truly your year.