Christmas at Tertianum: entertainment and a cosy atmosphere for guests
The first stage of preparations begins in November. At many of the homes, the guests help with the decorations. Baking biscuits, making Advent wreaths and singing Christmas carols are among the range of other festive activities on offer. During Advent, the guests are also given time and space to reflect and prepare for the coming season in their own individual way.
This includes writing Christmas cards to friends and family – something that is especially important to one particular guest in the nursing division of the Tertianum Residence Horgen every year. The atten-tive staff members know this; they buy the cards for him – under his instructions – and help him to write them. This is part of Tertianum’s comprehensive service, which always puts its guests first.
A visit from «Samichlaus» around 6 December is a regular occurrence at many of the homes. The guests prepare by learning songs and poems to present. The spirit of excitement often takes the Ter-tianum staff back to their own childhood days. The guests also enjoy the traditional treats brought by Samichlaus – who quickly realises he needs to speak a little louder than usual to the bright-eyed recit-ers before him.
The closer it gets to Christmas, the more intensive and exciting the programme of events becomes. In addition to concerts, performances, lectures and readings, board game afternoons and film screenings, the guests often enjoy a trip to a local Christmas market. The Tertianum Residence Zollikerberg, Ter-tianum Bergsicht in Kirchlindach and the La Jardinerie residential and geriatric care centre in Delémont even organise their own Christmas markets. Many of these events are public, like the candle-making workshop at the Fischermätteli residential and geriatric care centre in Bern.
Once the Christmas tree has been decorated and placed in the canteen in the run-up to Christmas, the homes invite family members for a meal or buffet reception. When Christmas Day comes around, the traditional seasonal dishes are, of course, on the menu. «Especially at this time of year, we make sure no guests are left eating on their own – unless that is explicitly what they want», says Daniela Rohner, head of the Tertianum Residence Bellerive in Lucerne. Many family members also arrange a special menu with the Tertianum team and drop by for an individual Christmas visit. The Tertianum Residence Huob in Pfäffikon (SZ) has even put together a fantastic overnight package for such visits: for CHF 95 per person, external guests can stay the night, including a four-course meal and breakfast.
Another Christmas staple is the present for the guests, organised by Tertianum headquarters. Ter-tianum orders special care products to be made by a company in Eastern Switzerland that are delivered to the guests in time for Christmas in collaboration with Jelmoli.
With concerts and lots of other events, there is an exciting programme of festive activities on offer throughout the Christmas and New Year period. These include Christmas church services organised on site at the homes. Many of the homes also hold popular New Year’s concerts, where the guests can raise a glass and celebrate the new year. «Sometimes, members of our own staff even perform», says Mirjam Schmidhauser, head of Tertianum Christa in Oberuzwil. «Last year, for example, our apprentices accompanied the residence’s choir on flute and trumpet.»
Playing in all its forms is a big part of the New Year’s celebrations at Tertianum Christa: guests and staff welcome in the new year together with a board game afternoon. The New Year’s activities are always diverse and creative. «The guests and the staff are both ready for a little break by the time it’s over», says Matthias Knecht, head of the Tertianum Residence Horgen. So the first few weeks of January are usually quite silent at the Tertianum homes – before the next programme of activities and a year of new events begins.
Take a look at the varied entertainment programmes on offer at the Tertianum homes: