Holiday Activity Ideas . . . Add a sprinkle of Senior Spirit to your holiday celebrating
The holiday season is upon us! Triggered by an attitude of gratitude around Thanksgiving, we now find ourselves thrust into the joyous festivities of December. Not quite into it yet? Not to worry—we have some ideas for you that will surely pay off in the feel-good department.
Are you ready? Start by simply making a concerted effort to be more tuned-in to those around you—your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and especially the seniors in your life. Greet everyone who passes you by—on the street, in the grocery store, at the mall, in the crowded halls at work or school. Your attention and a pleasant “Happy Holidays” are a gift in the midst of all the hustle and bustle. And while you’re at it, hold the door for someone—a chivalrous gesture that has somewhat gone by the wayside!
It’s the Little Things that Count
Your focus on the little things can mean so much to the seniors in your life—especially during the holidays. Connect a little more often with those older adults in your own family. Involve them as much as you can in your plans and outings over the next few weeks. Or just give them a call for a long holiday chat. And take the opportunity to drop in at retirement communities in Dallas for a casual holiday visit—bring the kids, too! Their senior spirit will add so much warmth and dimension to your life—and they will love the company.
Make sure your loved one has help decorating their home for the season. And how about taking them for an early evening ride around Dallas to experience the music and lights on the homes of their neighbors and friends. And don’t forget the holiday music. Are there favorite holiday songs that Mom, Dad, or Aunt Sheila enjoyed as you remember? Many seniors also welcome the chance to switch to holiday music for their daily exercise and yoga routines. Make sure they have the equipment, recordings, or resources for their favorite holiday tunes.
The residents of Dallas Retirement Village began their decorating before Thanksgiving with The Thankful Tree. It’s a tradition for our senior living residents to express thanks by writing on the leaves of a decorated autumnal tree in the lobby. You can believe the spirit of gratitude and holiday celebration extends well into the new year.
Children, Toys and Fun Together
The holidays are for everyone, but they hold a special place in the hearts and minds of children. And there’s nothing more special to the seniors than connecting them with children for the season’s special moments. If you’re a senior, add a little Senior Spirit—and a grandchild—to these holiday activities:
- Make hand-made greeting cards with children using markers and holiday stickers. Then, have them write a note to the friend or family member who will receive their special card.
- Spend an afternoon with a couple of your grandchildren and teach them how to make your favorite family holiday cookie recipes. Make up plates of the goodies to give to your friends and neighbors.
- Numerous giving trees can be found throughout the Dallas community this time of year, especially in churches and retail stores. Choose a gift tag (or a few!) and take your grandchildren gift shopping—AND finish the adventure with wrapping, also a fun holiday activity to do with children.
- Several local senior organizations are making and delivering toys for children this season. You can help by volunteering, like the residents of Dallas Retirement Village on the Wood Toy Car & Truck Team. See if you can also involve some young adults at the very least for delivery.
- Dallas Retirement Village has also adopted Dallas Christmas Cheer. This well-respected, grass-roots, 501c3 non-profit organization was started by Dallas community members and has been around for nearly 60 years. Each year, Christmas Cheer reaches over 500 local families and approximately 2,000 individuals who have fallen on hard times. These numbers include 500+ children and 100 senior citizens in the greater-Dallas area who receive food boxes with enough food for the holiday meal and beyond. Residents and employees of Dallas Retirement Village get involved by sponsoring food drives for this and other events throughout the season. Join us this year to get involved in your community. It takes a village!
- Many area residents join in to raise money for Dallas Christmas Cheer at the annual Dallas Glow 5K Fun Run/Walk. Watch the Glow Run video from this past October. The Run offers an opportunity to volunteer time and funds, mix and mingle before the upcoming holiday, and have fun with Dallas community residents—of all ages. Our Dallas Retirement Village residents, including our Village Walkers, love to get involved by walking in the event.
Food: Treats and Favorites
Food is such an important part of holiday celebrations. For seniors, the memories of holidays past come flooding back with thoughts of family traditions at the dinner table. Many older adults just don’t spend time in the kitchen like they used to. Bring back the memories with their favorite holiday dishes.
Check with the seniors in your life to make sure they have a place to go for a holiday meal. Then, ask if you can prepare their favorite holiday dish. Or simply make up their holiday favorite and deliver it to them during the season.
Holiday dessert recipes are a big hit, so are special side dishes from days gone by. Linda Saunders, Director of Dining Services at Dallas Retirement Village, has the following holiday cranberry recipe to share with us this year. It’s sure to be popular at your holiday table.
Baked Cranberry Pecan Sauce
1 pound fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup orange marmalade
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
Directions: In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Pour into a buttered 11×17-in. baking dish. Bake uncovered at 325o for 35-45 minutes or until cranberries are done.
Make the Holidays Special with the Seniors in Your Life
At Dallas Retirement Village, we are all so thankful to be able to spend the holidays—and every day, for that matter—at such a uniquely uplifting community where active older adults enjoy vibrant living, rewarding opportunities, exceptional hospitality, and great friendships. Learn more about our close-knit community.
We wish you and the seniors in your life
a warm and special holiday season connected to all those you love.