While the traditions of Christmas are exciting for many, for older people living on their own the holidays can be a lonely time.
The loss of loved ones and past traditions can make the Christmas period a difficult time for seniors. Including older loved ones in some new holiday activities can not only help brighten up the festive period, but it can also create new memories and traditions.
Here are some fun ideas:
1. Do a tour of the Christmas lights
A good way to get in the Christmas spirit is to hop in the car and do a driving tour of some of the Christmas lights in your town or suburb. There are usually guides and printable lists available if you google Christmas lights and your city or town. In Brisbane, 4KQ have an extensive list and now even have a mobile app to help you find the best lights when you’re out and about.
2. Go to a local carols event
Local Christmas carol events are often run by community groups and are a good way to feel connected to your local community. Singing along to your favourite carols under the stars is good for the soul and it’s even better if you take along a picnic full of favourite festive foods.
3. Do some Christmas baking
Get together in the kitchen to cook up some Christmas favourites. It’s a good chance for an older person to pass on family recipes and you can always try out some new recipes to keep things fresh. You could even make and decorate a gingerbread house, or for something far less ambitious try these easy Christmas biscuits.
4. Reminisce about Christmas’s past
Grab the photo albums or dig out some old home videos and have a laugh at how much everyone has changed. This is especially powerful for family members who have dementia or other cognitive impairments. Another idea is to create a photo book or scrapbook of your favourite Christmas photos.
5. Get involved with a Christmas charity
Helping out a community group or charity is a good way to experience the true meaning of Christmas. You can donate items or funds to a chosen charity holding a Christmas drive or you may be able to volunteer to help out at any fundraising events or activities.
6. Quality time
Sometimes the best gift you can give at Christmas is the gift of quality time. Take the time to enjoy a cup of tea and just have a chat with your loved one. You could also play a favourite card game, tackle a large puzzle together or try out a new board game.