GALION — Santa Claus paid an early visit to residents at Mill Creek Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Monday, spreading Christmas cheer and handing out presents.
The annual holiday party is a tradition that has grown over the years. Residents look forward to the gathering and a chance to spend time with family and friends, who join in the festivities.
On Monday, parking spaces at Mill Creek were few and far between as dozens of people came to be with their loved ones to celebrate the season. Even the activity room was standing room only as people enjoyed festive holiday food and drink while waiting for Kris Kringle to arrive.
Wanda Gantz, dietary manager at Mill Creek, said there are 63 residents at Mill Creek and she said family members brought in gifts for them that Santa was going to hand.
“The ones who couldn’t bring in gifts, we supplied them and Santa is going to hand them out,” Gantz said.
Mill Creek supplied the tasty treats for the day, which included cheesecake, cream puffs, decorated sugar cookies and a variety of drinks.
She said Mill Creek likes to hold the holiday party because Christmas has been a part of the residents’ lives forever and this a way to ensure they still can celebrate the holiday in some fashion.
“A lot of people don’t have a lot of family at this time of the year and they need something to bring joy to their life and make them happy. We want family out here with them at all times … as much as we can have them.”
Stasia Ulmer, activities director at Mill Creek, said this year’s Christmas party theme was “Christmas Around the World,” the cheesecake and cream puffs, which started in Belgium.
“We have our sugar cookies that were originated in the United States in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,” Ulmer said. “They started out in the shape of Pennsylvania, but we couldn’t do that so we just did Christmas cookies.
“I invited their families and friends today, and we’re very lucky so many showed up,” Ulmer added. “This is their Christmas since so many can’t get out to go home. I think it’s important to have a Christmas party because it brings back traditions for them. For many of them — when they had children — Christmas brings family together and family is No. 1.”
Santa soon made his grand arrival, greeting residents as he came in. He handed out hugs and handshakes as he made his way around the room and the twinkle in the eyes of many residents showed that this truly was a magical day with fun, laughter and love.
Resident Dorothy Smith receives an present from Santa Claus on Monday at Mill Creek Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Galion. Residents and their families celebrated the holiday season with a Christmas party.
Paul Mies, center, with Christmas lights around his neck, with his family, enjoys himself with a bite to eat during a Christmas Party on Monday at Mill Creek Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Galion.
There was plenty to eat and drink Monday afternoon at Mill Creek Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Portland Way South in Galion. Residents and their families got together Monday for a Christmas party.