For most of us, the holidays are a magical time full of family, friends and memories. However, as we age the holidays can be stressful, confusing, or lonely. So, it’s important to try and include seniors in activities to help them feel included and loved. To help spread some cheer, here are some activities that you and your senior loved ones can do this holiday season.
1. Attend Local Events
Around the holidays, there are a number of local events — from music and pageants to light shows and parades. Look for events in your area and find an activity that is suitable for your loved one. Attending an event together is a great way to create new memories.
2. Wrap Presents Together
Many seniors enjoy wrapping presents in colorful paper and bows. Enlisting the help of your elderly loved one in wrapping holiday gifts is a fun activity to share together. They will also enjoy keeping the contents a secret from little ones until it's time to unwrap them.
3. Watch Movies
Movies are another great activity for seniors to enjoy with the whole family. Here are some of our favorites.
It's A Wonderful Life
It's A Wonderful Life portrays George Bailey's life and the importance of our actions on the people we care about is timeless. It speaks to the importance of community and altruism in a beautiful way.
Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is the ultimate story of the transformative powers of the Christmas spirit. Scrooged captures this classic story in a fun and entertaining way.
The image of a young Macaulay Culkin slapping his hands to his cheeks with a shocked expression on his face is one of the most iconic images from film in the 1990s. The Home Alone movies are the films to watch if you're getting ready for a multi-generational holiday get-together.
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
If your loved one has a bit of a funny bone, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is a great choice. This movie will appeal to anyone's who's ever had to host a stressful holiday get together.
A modern classic, Robert Zemeckis's 2004 Polar Express is a computer-animated tale of a train that takes children to the North Pole. It hearkens back to a time when we all still believed the world was a little more magical.
4. Bake a Favorite Family Recipe
Pass down those secret family recipes to the younger generations by baking together. Invite your senior loved one to teach everyone how to bake some goodies from scratch. Watch as your senior loved one shows off their favorite baking tricks.
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5. Make a Memory Ornament
An ornament can be a budget-friendly craft everyone can do together. Ornaments can become treasured keepsakes for the family. Try decorating glass balls, making salt dough ornaments, or getting creative with another design.
6. Go on a Holiday House Crawl
Seniors love to socialize, and putting together a holiday house crawl is a great way to encourage mingling. Simply arrange for a group of your family or friends to open up their houses to your senior loved one on the same night. Then, you can go from house to house to enjoy a light snack or holiday activity. This is a great way to fit in visits with everyone in a short period of time.
7. Decorate the House
Decorating the house can be a great way to put a senior in the holiday spirit. You can help them decorate their own living space or invite them to help with yours. Whether you need to set up the Christmas tree or put out a Menorah, decorating can also remind your loved one of cherished traditions.
8. Play Games
Challenge the family to play games together. Uno, Scrabble, Rummy, and Dominoes are classics! Just make sure these games don’t get too competitive and drive family members apart.
9. Host a Talent Show
Many families have hidden talents. Share these talents in a family talent show! Sing songs, tell jokes, play instruments, and more. You can even invite neighbors or close friends to participate.
10. Shop Together
As a senior’s family gets bigger and bigger, it can become more difficult for them to know what presents to buy each family member. Help your loved one out by going shopping with them — in person or online. They’ll appreciate the help and your input.
11. Do a White Elephant Gift Exchange
In addition to having presents under the tree, you can host a white elephant gift exchange. This activity is perfect for families at home or groups of seniors in a community. To participate, everyone just needs to bring a gift. Assign an order for individuals to pick (or steal) gifts. And voila! You have a fun and memorable holiday activity.
12. Write Cards
Sending cards at the end of the year is a tradition in many families. Take time to send out cards together. These could be hand written, typed, or even video messages. Cards are a perfect way to show others some love during the holiday season.
13. Throw a Virtual Party
Your aging loved ones may not live near you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time! Host a virtual get together and chat with your loved ones. You can even plan digital games or entertainment to keep the party going.
14. Serve Someone Else
Around the holidays, there are many opportunities to serve in your community and give back. You and your loved ones can help wrap presents, buy presents for kids in need, help serve food at a soup kitchen, and participate in other charity events.
15. Decorate Gingerbread
Many families have a tradition of decorating gingerbread cookies or houses during the holidays. Include your aging loved ones in this tradition! You can have them decorate their own gingerbread or they can be the judge of a friendly family competition.
We know how important it is to include seniors in safe and fun holiday activities. But we also understand that some seniors need a little extra help to enjoy the holidays and fully participate in all the fun this season has to offer. At Caring Senior Service, our expert caregivers can give your loved ones the assistance they need and the peace of mind you crave during this special time. Find your local office and contact their team today to learn how we can help.