Ecumenical Home Inc. has set up a Christmas wonderland as part of its holiday celebration for its residents.
“We decided since we would not be able to take our folks out in the community to enjoy the usual holiday events that we would light up our grounds for everyone to enjoy and invite the community to see ours instead,” explained Becky Greenberg, director of activities at Bradford Ecumenical Home Inc. “We purposely chose decorations that could be enjoyed during the day and that light up at dusk.”
The Ecumencial Home is inviting families to add their own window or ground displays outside their loved ones’ windows, too.
The community is invited to check out the display. Greenberg described what visitors will see.
“Our display includes Christmas lights, Traditional Christmas scenes of reindeer, Christmas trees, snowman family, elves, sleighs, presents and a nativity scene,” she said. “The display starts in front of Bradford Ecumenical Home and goes along the drive up to Chapel Ridge.”
Matt George’s carpentry class at Bradford Area High School built and donated a special addition to the display: a mailbox to the North Pole. The mailbox is located in front of Chapel Ridge, and children are welcome to drop off their letters to Santa Claus there.
Visitors will also notice banners and yard signs in front of both facilities showcasing another program there: the culmination of a year-long artist residency.
“They display pictures of our folks in action creating their art and finished projects,” Greenberg said. “Through our collaboration with Elk County Council on the Arts, we were able to continue our art classes with artist Julie Mader teaching our folks through instructional videos and zooming during the classes to get further instruction and guidance. We are excited to be able to share our folks’ talents and accomplishments!”
The Ecumenical Home partnered with the United Way of the Bradford Area to fund the decorations, and Greenberg said they look forward to continuing the display for years to come.
She talked about what the display has meant for residents.
“Our folks enjoyed watching out their windows while we were setting up, motioning us to move things to the left or right and giving us the thumbs up and clapping when they approved placement,” she explained. “We will be taking our folks outside to see the display lit up throughout the month.”
In addition to enjoying the holiday display, Greenberg said the Ecumenical Home has activities planned to celebrate Christmas all month, with festive activities planned each Friday.
“We are all looking forward to Friday as we are celebrating Polar Express Day, staff and our folks will be wearing their PJs all day, enjoying a cocoa bar and watching Polar Express on our Big Screen.”
On Dec. 11, they will celebrate Elf Day, when “Everyone is encouraged to dress like an elf in red and green,” she said. “We will enjoy elf crafts, gingerbread cookies and Buddy the elf will be making a special appearance while we watch the movie on our big screen.”
Dec. 18 will be Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. That day, “We wear our holiday sweaters and try to outdo each other on how much holiday spirit we can display through our outfits and parade for everyone to see! Staff will partner up with our folks and make Christmas sweater ornaments,” said Greenberg.
She said the Ecumenical Home has special plans for Christmas day, too: “Santa and his elf (Percy the mini horse) will be distributing presents and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.”