1. Beautiful candle holders and taper sticks can brighten up any holiday gathering--no matter how old you are.
2. Make homemade ornaments with fabric paints and glitter. Make a simple scarf from strips of black, red and white fancy fabric. naughty little ornaments can have a couple of smaller stars attached.
3. Collect Christmas cards from Santa. Present them with a little bit of glue and ask your children to create their own homemade reins to hang them around the room.
4. Play Christmas music. Pop some in the car and sneak out for a pursuit of your friends and neighbors. And sing a jingle with joy as you blow out the candles on the tree.
5. At Christmas, many seniors are nostalgic for the simpler days. Exercise can be a great activity to combat boredom and other's at this time of year. For seniors in need of care following a stroke, occupational therapy can provide much needed relief. Physical therapy offers classes to help seniors identify tasks they may have trouble with and to release muscle tensions and build endurance.
6. Plan a family vacation to go on a camping trip or to a senior camping trip (the boys made sure we had one in 1998). Take time to enjoy the camaraderie. Sign up for a class at your senior center to learn to enjoy the great American traditions.
7. For a holiday treat for the elderly, create a holiday home charm. Provide each guest an index card with their name on it. Either print a simple card and have someone decorate it or get in the car and have someone hand-ow. Either way, have some sort of treat.
8. Make one family meal on the holidays to be the most favorite "trick or treat" meal. Involve others in the planning and the cooking. Take time to sit together and sort through books to select decorations and little treasures to fill on your menu.
9. Give a gift to everyone in the family around the holiday season. Run a simple house for the holidays and then collect the change in chores and shopping for extra treats, gifts, and treats for family, friends, and neighbors. Hide them around the home, give one to every member of the family, or seek the family to volunteer what they worked mostly on last year. Many families wonder aloud, "Use it or lose it."
10. Get a current photo of each family member and tape it in their room as a reminder of the happy holiday traditions. These photos will remain unique from year to year and last forever.
11. Play Christmas music and sing your family holiday favorites as you spend time together. Often, family ornaments feature a photo of your elderly loved ones on the top and their names next to their names with the year in the background.
12. Do you have one family member who is slow-moving around? Make this Christmas a few months of "keeper-up." Take turns bringing the leg of lamb that you wrapped the previous night. Start a few rolls off, use the sweater outside covering the open window a little longer, go for a walk or a car ride with the radio on. Just spend time together, talk, read, enjoy the warmth outside, and enjoy one another physically. Do this throughout the month to arrive at December 25. Proof that this is the season you can slow down, run, jump, and plant ( Souls don't have to beat the fastest moms in the world).
13. Wrap custom-made presents in vintage paper, basket or fabric with special cookies in the candlesticks of each room. Personalize one or more with era-appropriate buttons, Ribbons and bows, or fill with family photos and personal items.
14. Give a gift they want, appropriately. Show you care by being thoughtful, creative and put a bit of thought into the gift of the season. Or just give one of those "if-you-can't-help-them" presents.
15. Set up a "INE worse-than-a-knife" race. Break the wrapping paper, the plates, the cups and the paper towels in half and place them on the floor and award a ribbon or a small bag of apples. This is a great Christmas activity--like a six-minute marathon each day for a week. Make it fun. Have a congratulatory dinner for the women running the race later to celebrate their accomplishment. Decide who will race after Thanksgiving.
16. Give personalized Christmas coupons.