There’s no place like home for the holidays. But sometimes, we find that a loved one will be spending the holiday season at the hospital.

Whether it’s for a short stay while awaiting a procedure, or for long-term care, being in the hospital can be a lonely and sad time. Think about it. When is the last time you heard anyone say they want to be in the hospital during the holidays?

But though a loved one might not be home for the holidays, it doesn’t mean they can’t celebrate the season with some glee.

Here are a few tips to help you make the holiday season special for a loved one in the hospital.

Bring the Holidays to Your Loved One 

Try to make your loved one’s hospital room as festive as possible. Check with your loved one’s medical team, and if they agree, create a holiday environment by placing simple decorations on the wall or window ledges.

Ask friends and family members to send holiday cards. Hang them where the patient can readily see them.

Bring small meaningful gifts, such as holiday socks, that can brighten the day and will have your loved one looking forward to visits.

Nothing speaks the holidays more than holiday music, which will surely evoke special memories and bring a smile to that special someone.

Share Traditions

It’s the season of tradition, and just because someone is in the hospital doesn’t mean traditions can’t continue. Take that annual photograph of everyone wearing their ugly holiday sweater. If there aren’t any dietary restrictions, bake those sugar and macaroon cookies at home and bring them to the patient. Start a new tradition and bring in a board game or playing cards to play with your loved one.

Make Small Talk

Avoid conversations that can potentially upset the patient. Share experiences that are funny, light-hearted, and warm.

Sick? Stay Away 

The number one priority is for the patient to get well and go back home. So, if you are feeling sick or under the weather, stay away from the patient, and instead, communicate by text, FaceTime or Skype.