IN a little community hospital tucked away in Maryvale – patients and staff smiled with glee;

As the ward became transformed into the North Pole and Christmas was all you could see;

With glitter and tinsel and little pine trees to elves and reindeer and images of Santa going down chimneys.


THE friendly staff at Maryvale Private Hospital sure know how to spread that holiday cheer as the team took it upon themselves to turn the hospital ward into a winter wonderland.

Chief executive of the hospital, Lee Garwood, said he has worked in many hospitals but has never seen a place so passionate for the festive season as Maryvale.

The ward staff began decorating and soon the whole hospital was flooded with decorations from head to mistle-toe.

The crew at Maryvale even laid down sticky tape shaped in the form of train tracks, with a make-shift polar express doing the rounds around the whole hospital.

The Christmas bug had infected everyone at the hospital, as the staff organised some friendly competitions to find the best-decorated department.

Of course, the effort that Anne-Maree Thomson put in could not go unrecognised, as the ward won outright.

Not only did the ward win gloating rights, they also won a $500 gift voucher.

With an impressive display incorporating around 32 Christmas trees, real elves, Santa, Mrs Clause, 360 metres of train tracks, a moving train, Santa’s Lounge, Reindeer Stables, Grinch’s Grotto, a real Grinch, 182 balloon garland, multiple inflatables and a tonne of tinsel and lights, you’d think the place was a Hallmark Christmas movie set.

As the whole hospital sat down for their Christmas lunch last Tuesday, December 12, that pure elation that comes from this time of the year could be seen on every single face.

With tea and coffee, eggnog and a bickie staff spread their holly and jolly.

This hospital was one big happy family and right there you could witness the true meaning of Christmas.

Reindeer’s are better than people: Anne-Maree Thomson stood beside the executive office of the hospital which was turned into the reindeer stables. Photograph: Zaida Glibanovic

Helpers: Maryvale staff brought their children along to enjoy the day’s festivities. Photograph supplied

Christmas lunch: Maryvale staff enjoyed a lovely meal together thanks to the catering team. Photograph supplied