The Holidays at Elevations RTC

During the winter holiday season at Elevations, we support each student’s traditions and spirituality in the best way possible. Currently, we plan to decorate for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas. At Elevations, we create a warm environment that takes the stress out of the holidays for our students. We try to make the holidays a fun and comforting experience that our students get to spend with the Elevations family.

Holiday Activities

For the holidays, we plan fun activities for the students to enjoy. Our special activities, such as decorating contests, are related to each holiday on campus. Staff help organize decorating the dorms, planning gift-giving activities, and showing holiday movies. Some of our students even take a field-trip off campus into Salt Lake to look at the lights around town and at the spectacular Hogle Zoo light display. Some students go home for a visit during Thanksgiving and Christmas, but many stay and invite their parents to come spend the holidays in Utah. We offer discount hotel rates locally.

Traditional Winter Break

Although the academic period does not end until January, students have a week off of school the week of Christmas. Elevations recognizes the importance of maintaining a traditional break from school and classroom work over the winter holidays. Teachers take into account that our students are already stressed before the holidays and limit school work over the break to give them time to focus on connecting with their families. On days that there is no class, teachers plan activities for students on campus, like decorating gingerbread houses, making friendship bracelets or other gifts, and hosting spelling or geography bees. This helps teens maintain structure during time off school.

Visiting Elevations during the Holidays

We encourage families to try to maintain holiday traditions by facilitating a flexible visitation schedule over the winter holidays. Students who are in higher phases of the program may be allowed to visit home over the holidays, with treatment team approval. For students that have parents visiting Utah during Thanksgiving or December holidays, some are allowed to take a visit off-campus to spend quality time together and eat dinner. For those still on campus or those with parents visiting campus, we provide activities and meals for everyone. 

Winter Holidays At-A-Glance:

At Elevations, we do our best to offer a fun, festive holiday experience for our students. We acknowledge that the holiday season brings up a lot of intense emotions for students and their families and work closely with families to address potential concerns and offer effective communication strategies. Planning fun activities helps show students that they can have fun over the holidays like they did when they were younger without needing substances or other unhealthy coping mechanisms to cope with stress.

  • Thanksgiving. Students have time off school to celebrate Thanksgiving. Our chefs prepare a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for students and families on campus, complete with turkey and pumpkin pie. We integrate lessons on mindfulness and gratitude into groups throughout the week.
  • Christmas. For students on campus during Christmas, staff organize activities like playing games, watching movies, or playing in the snow, if there is some. On Christmas morning, we provide a couple of small gifts for our students prior to their parents’ arrival. Parents can send in or bring gifts and open them with their child during visitation if gift-giving is part of their tradition. 
  • New Year’s. For New Year’s Eve and Day, we have a relaxed, casual day of watching football, eating pizza, and just spending time with each other. As many students have had a history of partying and using substances on New Year’s Eve, we try to stick to the schedule and have class the next day. 

If you have any questions about holiday programming at Elevations RTC and the therapeutic support we provide for families, contact us at .