Here’s How I Decorated My Wheelchair This Christmas

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by Leah Leilani |

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In my family, almost every holiday deserves decorations. Even Valentine’s Day is celebrated, with heart stickers on our bathroom mirrors and red-heart garland strewn about the house — inspired by the Valentine’s dinner scene in the movie “Julie & Julia.” My dad is mostly to thank for the festive decor, which quickly spread from our bathrooms to my wheelchair. 

Halloween and Christmas are my favorite holidays, and not only for the obvious reasons such as dressing up in costumes or covering the tree in nostalgic Christmas ornaments. It’s because my dad is the most extravagant with the decorations for my wheelchair at this time of the year. For months, there will be a glitter trail all around our house. 

This year, I wanted something a little different than the classic red and green. While shopping with my mom at a Japanese store called Daiso over Thanksgiving break, I spotted some gorgeous silver holographic garland. I thought it would be the perfect contrast to all the black on my wheelchair. It was only a dollar for one large strand, which is a steal compared to Michaels’ steep prices. A few weeks later, my family and I made a trip to the 99-cent store, which is a great place to find lots of cheap holiday decor. I figured blue and purple would look best with the silver garland. I picked out two purple and blue ornaments and a glittery teal poinsettia cutout to hang on my wheelchair alongside the garland. It was time to decorate. 

(Courtesy of Leah Leilani)

The other supplies we used were:

  • long zip ties
  • fishing line
  • wire cutters

(Courtesy of Leah Leilani)

In my household, zip ties are like duct tape. They are good for almost anything, including decorating a wheelchair. My dad and I decided that attaching the garland loosely on my wheelchair looked best, providing a draped effect. A single strand of garland wrapped all the way around my wheelchair from one armrest to the other. He then secured it with black zip ties on the armrests and on the handles of my wheelchair along with the ornaments. Putting the ornaments on the back of the chair was a must so that they didn’t get in the way when driving through doors. The last piece we placed was the blue poinsettia. My dad strung the fishing line through the poinsettia and around the headrest’s pole. In this position, it won’t prevent access to my backpack, so if I keep my harness in front, there shouldn’t be any problems. 

(Courtesy of Leah Leilani)

Over the years, I’ve come to realize that I’m not the only person who loves having a festive looking wheelchair. Some families go all out by making their child’s wheelchair into a Batmobile or princess carriage for Halloween. As a 21-year-old, I think this is the perfect amount of holiday decor for me. I really love how everything turned out and I can’t wait to ride around in my sparkly wheelchair this Christmas. 

Did you decorate your chair this year? Post a picture on our Facebook!


Note: Muscular Dystrophy News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Muscular Dystrophy News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to muscular dystrophy.


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