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BRENT-XMAS: Mary Foss, 93, formerly of Hopkinton, Mass., gets a hug from Santa during his visit to the Rockingham County Nursing Home in Brentwood on Dec. 20. (Jason Schreiber)

Nursing home residents each receive several gifts

BRENTWOOD - Amy Robinson beamed as she opened boxes of new shirts and unwrapped a tin filled with Danish butter cookies.

"I didn't think I deserved all this," the 93-year-old Plaistow woman joked, holding up one of the new blue shirts she received in a bag of presents delivered when Santa made a special stop on Thursday at the Rockingham County Nursing Home.

Robinson was among the 227 nursing home residents whose Christmas was made brighter thanks to gifts donated through a giving tree and purchased with money collected through fundraising efforts.

Well over 1,000 gifts were passed out this year, meaning each resident received three or four gifts.

The gifts included everything from clothing, cookies and candy to lipstick, tissues and gift certificates to the nursing home's snack bar.

"Every gift is personally picked for that person," said Diane Murphy, an activities aide who helps out with the gift-giving tradition each year.

This was the first time that former Epping resident Eliza Marcotte, 94, has participated in the tradition.

She unwrapped matching pink shirt and pants. "Just my color," she said with a smile. "When you get to be 94, anything that's coming your way makes it a good day."

For some, the gifts handed out at Christmas are the only ones received by residents, said Tara Loy, the nursing home's new activities director.

Loy praised the staff for their efforts to help the residents celebrate Christmas.

"The staff was great and I'm happy to be part of it," said Loy, who helped Santa by carrying around bags of presents from one floor to another.

Resident Mary Foss, 93, formerly of Hopkinton, Mass., received a bag of presents that included Pepperidge Farm cookies, a scenic landscape calendar and Jergens soothing aloe hand soap.

"It's very nice," she said.

jschreiber@newstote.com


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