The holiday season is a time for family togetherness – children are laughing and playing, parents wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of it all. But it’s important to remember to include seniors in your holiday plans. They can add so much to the conversation about holiday traditions and bygone days, and being part of everything will make the holidays special for them as well.
Here are some ways you can include senior family members or friends in your holiday activities without stretching them past their limits, making sure everyone has a happy holiday:
- Do crafts together as a family. You can create a holiday wreath, decorate and fill stockings, make and write holiday cards, and create other holiday decorations together.
- Prompt the younger generation to talk with seniors about their holiday experiences when they were younger. Talk about family traditions.
- Play games as a family. Cards and board games are fun and family-friendly activities.
- Put on some holiday tunes and sing together. Mix the traditional classics with modern new holiday hits.
- Pick out a holiday movie to watch, and pop some popcorn. See if your senior has a favorite holiday film. Snuggle together under blankets and enjoy hot chocolate with marshmallows (this can make it feel like the holidays, even in sunny Florida!).
- Decorate the house for the holidays. You can make holiday ornaments and put up lights and other décor as a family.
- Cook traditional holiday meals together.
- Bake some delicious holiday treats together, such as cookies or fudge.
- Wrap gifts together (but don’t let anyone see what they are getting!).
- While shopping online, ask your senior for opinions about the items you’re picking out.
- Make new holiday traditions together.
Ideas for Going Out:
- Take a stroll around the mall and enjoy the decorations. Try to go early in the day so you can avoid crowds.
- Go out to eat at a family-friendly restaurant.
- See a holiday movie or a local play or musical to create a fun family experience.
- Go on a walk through the neighborhood or at a park. Admire the holiday decorations while getting some exercise.
Remember to take breaks as often as necessary. Check in with your senior regularly to see how they are feeling – and even if they say they are fine, schedule some time for a break every now and then. Try to go at your senior’s pace so they can enjoy all the activities they want, even if it is a bit slower than you would normally go. The holiday season is about being together and making new memories while honoring old ones. Being mindful of your senior’s wants and needs this holiday season can make a world of difference to them, and will make everyone’s season brighter.