Have you ever felt lonely and deprived when you miss out on typical family and friends holiday celebrations? Traditions provide significance and a sense of belonging in our lives.

COVID-19's reappearance and increased restrictions on transportation and visits have changed many people's Christmas plans. This will be difficult for patients in hospitals and nursing homes where families may not be able to visit or get them.

Every year, nurses try to bring the Christmas spirit into the units to help patients cope with missing their relatives. That said, we must respect the cultural, religious, and societal variances in traditional holiday festivities.

We will look at some simple ways to connect your patients with their own traditions.

Christmas nursing tips for patients

  • We must be careful not to impose our own customs on others.
  • Individual patients may have taught you about various cultural groups' practices. While this may be a valuable tool, avoid stereotyping.
  • You might also ask what they would miss most about the celebrations. Then you can add some of their own traditions to enhance their Christmas.

These are just a few ideas you can utilize if a patient's relatives cannot visit.

  • Arrange for your patient to join their family via video call during their primary Christmas celebrations. Even if they can't be there in person, they will feel like they belong and matter.
  • Ask the patients’ friends and relatives to send you photos with Christmas wishes.
  • A gift on the day and time that their family traditionally exchanges gifts - Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, or even the 1st of January. If visitors aren't allowed, the gifts can be left. If they have no family nearby, you can give them a small gift.
  • If your patient likes certain Christmas dishes, ask family or friends to bring them, even if they only need to leave them at the door. And if you're lucky, the employees might get some surprises! When planning this, keep in mind any unique dietary needs.


Because of all of the changes brought about by the pandemic, many people may find this year's holiday season to be different and stressful. Adapting and trying to discover new ways for individuals to interact with their loved ones and to participate in as many of the traditions that are meaningful to them are the only viable solutions. Please remember to take care of yourself and your family at the same time as you are caring for your patients.

May 12, 2023

Natasha Osei

Passionate Nurse Practitioner | People person
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