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Max and Beatrice Wolfe Children’s Centre Hosts the Annual Holiday Gingerbread Decorating Party

In early December, as they have done for the last 5 years, families connected to the Max and Beatrice Wolfe Children's Centre gathered together in the cafeteria of Mount Sinai Hospital with gooey pizza, jazz standards and holiday spirit to make gingerbread houses together.

This traditional no-charge gathering is the largest of the Centre's regular annual events for bereaved families, and serves to recognize that children and families grieving the death of a loved one often feel that grief more acutely during this time of year when family, togetherness and tradition are at the top of people's minds.

Each family is given a gingerbread house with a generous portion of candies to construct and decorate together, and families are encouraged to write messages on little slips of paper to be inserted into the house and then shared when the house is reopened to be eaten. These messages include memories of the person who died, wishes, and hopes for the family's future. These messages help to honour and make present the person who died, and support families to include the realities of their grief in the holidays in ways that care for that grief and for each other.

The evening is bittersweet, a chance for families to reconnect with staff from the Centre, to meet other children and families who understand their loss, to play, have fun together, and to make space to honour their sadness. One of the children said that the event was important because it meant “building a house for Daddy and being with others who lost their parent.”

Click here to learn more about the Max and Beatrice Wolfe Children’s Centre.