Hospital Holidays at Erlanger

Lizzie Hickman

Christmas trees are up and businesses have garland and red bows lining their store fronts. Erlanger goes above and beyond, bringing joy to their campus during the holiday season.

Their Child Life program has a wish list for donations that includes everything from basic knits to instant coffee you can donate to support families with sick children.

Erlanger also hosts the Tiny Trees program. Groups can decorate a 3 ft. or shorter Christmas tree and donate it to the Children’s hospital. These tiny Christmas trees add a little brightness to the season for children and their families during a difficult time.

Child Life Specialists deliver the trees to kids’ rooms. The kids or teenagers take the trees home with them once they’re discharged.

Tree Requirements:

  • Artificial Trees
  • Pick a theme for a child or teenager
  • Toys should be wired onto the tree
  • Tie or wire ornaments onto the tree
  • Battery-powered lights are best
  • No glass, sharp objects or anything that could be a choking hazard
  • Limit donations to five per organization, group or person

It’s not too late to participate. Drop off your decorated tree on either Thursday, Dec. 12 or Friday, Dec. 13 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the table in the Erlanger Medical Mall near Starbucks.

If your group would like to make a large donation, contact Emilia Jones at [email protected].

Internally, Erlanger spreads the holiday spirit through the Parade of Presents. Groups sign up to decorate holiday themed “floats.” Each group receives a list of toys to purchase or raise money, and once they've completed that, there’s a parade.

The parade goes through the Children’s Hospital inpatient area and lobby. Floats with toys and Christmas decorations bring joy to the Children's Hospital patients and families staying there. On Christmas Day, Santa visits inpatients at the Children’s Hospital who’ve indicated they’d like a visit from St. Nick.

Erlanger also invites Chattanoogans to attend their annual Christmas tree lighting in their Medical Mall and the Children’s Hospital lobby. Musical groups perform and in November, the Chattanooga Ballet performs excerpts of the Nutcracker.

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