Date Unknown. Dancing at OSH holiday gathering. OSH Museum Collection.
Celebrating holidays at the Hospital has always involved a variety of activities for patients and staff. In December, OSH in the past has had dances, holiday parties, and a bazaar with items made by patients. A special holiday dance occurred in 1958 the first Inter-Ward Council Dance held in the OSH Auditorium. As described in the January 1959 edition of The Lamplighter, the dance was sponsored by Wards 8, 10, 11, and 30 and invited all wards and members of the Cottage Farm to participate.
There was a capacity crowd and the president of the Council greeted everyone and wished them a happy holiday season.
Live music, dancing, and group singing were highlights of the event. Additionally, various community groups from Salem and the surrounding areas frequently provided patients and staff with holiday themed entertainment. As reported by Ward 59:
The holiday season on our ward started with a party on December 16th, given by the ladies of the Presbyterian Church of Portland, our sponsors. They had a piano player in the group and we enjoyed singing carols. After that many of the ladies designed and made Christmas decorations out of tinfoil. They were attractive. The ladies served coffee and a variety of home-baked cookies. They were certainly good! All of us received a box of beautifully wrapped stationery; on each sheet of paper is a bouquet of flowers in natural colors.
While the holiday season can be challenging for many individuals, the Hospital has tried overtime to provide opportunities for individuals to assist in their own rehabilitation. By encouraging volunteerism from the community in these activities they not only have provided entertainment for the patients, but they have also made members of the community better acquainted with the Hospital.