December 2011

Vol. 1, Edition 11

Happy Holidays?


The most wonderful time of the year?


Not to the people who use just three adjectives to describe the holidays: high-tension, high-cost and high-obligation. In fact, when asked to rank the stress of the season, 40 percent of respondents to one poll put the holidays in the same league as asking the boss for a raise. Still, it's possible to recapture the meaning of the holidays.


Pooh-pooh perfection. Dashed expectations can cause a holiday crash, so keep them reasonable.

Stay healthy. Holiday season is an open invitation to de-stress - the wrong way. Too much food and drink and too little sleep can take a toll. So continue to be mindful of your mental and physical well-being.

Go with the flow. Holiday traditions evolve over the years. While you may be disappointed if you can't quite reenact your celebrations of yore, find pleasure in creating and sharing new traditions.

Make room for sadness. Or loneliness. Sometimes unpleasant memories or the loss of a loved one puts a damper on the season. Jot those feelings down in a journal or confide in a close friend. Take solace in religious rites or community events you find significant.

Accept family members for who they are. Holiday gatherings are not the time to refuel arguments or rehash political differences. Instead, cherish the opportunity to be together.

De-emphasize the material. Give more gifts that don't necessarily come off a store shelf: babysitting time for your niece, a homemade object for your son, a trip to the museum with your grandchildren. And make it known that you don't expect expensive gifts yourself.

Gone to the Dogs

Pets have always held a special place in our lives. The bond between a pet and its owner can be very strong, and it has long been said that pet owners tend to live longer. 

pet therapy 11-11
Agnes visits with a patient.

Over the past few decades, much research has been done on how pets affect a patient's recovery. Pet therapy has emerged as holistic appraoch for dealing not only with illness, but tramautic injury and grief as well.


The pediatric unit began 

offering pet therapy in 2008 with Maggie and her handler, Kay Jackson. Since that time, Maggie has been joined by other dogs to become the Maggie and Friends Pet Therapy Team. The group regularly visits the unit to bring smiles to children and their families.  


Child Life Specialist Rachel Ryan said the visits help to reduce anxiety in patients and offer them a break from the unfamiliar environment. In addition, the time spent with a pet can reduce blood pressure and heart rate, thereby increasing the health of the patient.

In This Issue
Happy Holidays?
Pet Therapy
Heartfelt Thanks
The Perfect Gift

Thank You


We would like to thank each and everyone who helped to make the season brighter for those we serve.


You helped touch the lives of 145 children and families through the Christmas Angels program at the Therapy & Learning Center.  


Without your continued suport, none of these smiles would be possible. However, there are still several opportunites to help with other holiday needs. Get more information.

The Perfect Gift


Not sure what to get that person on your list who has everything? This gift always fits, never has to be returned, and never needs batteries. It is a donation in honor or in memory of someone special.


Through the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation, you can make gifts to a variety of funds designed to help those served by Ayers Children's Medical Center.


With your donation, we will send a card notifying them of your gift in their honor or the memory of their loved one.


Make an online gift.

Contact Us  

Ayers Children's Medical Center
620 Skyline Drive
Jackson, TN 38301
(731) 541-6448

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