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Happy Holidays!

Women, children and nurses gather around long tables in a black and white photo. Balloons are hung and Santa stands before a large Christmas tree at the back of the room.

Outpatient department Christmas party.


About 150 children of the out-patients’ clinic of the Women’s College Hospital will be made happy tomorrow afternoon when a Christmas party and tree will be given for them by the organization of the hospital assisted by the members of the Cradle Club. Santa Claus will distribute toys, clothing and food to each family, most of the toys having been contributed by the Cradle Club.

Toronto Daily Star, December 20, 1933.

Nurses holding candles and carol books are lined up on the stairs in an old photo. One nurse leads them while another plays violin.

Student nurse choir at the Outpatient Department Christmas Tree Party.

The Cradle Club eagerly became involved in a long-held tradition at Women’s College Hospital – the Outpatient Department Christmas Tree Party. Every year since 1919, hospital volunteers organized an annual holiday party for the mothers and children of the hospital’s outpatient clinics. This department provided medical services to poor and working class families in the community.

For its inaugural year of involvement in 1932, the Cradle Club helped host 135 children and their mothers for the annual holiday party. The children enjoyed music, “moving pictures,” and homemade animal biscuits. Santa Claus arrived to give each child a stocking containing candy and a hand-knitted item of clothing. The girls received a doll, complete with a handmade outfit courtesy of the Cradle Club and every boy received a toy.

When the afternoon fun ended, mothers and children were sent home “in motors.” All had a good time!

Two fashionably dressed women with arms full of baby dolls sitting on outdoor steps in a black and white photo.

Mrs. Gordon Neill and Mrs. Douglas McKnight with dolls outfitted for children of the hospital’s outpatient clinic.