If you are looking for a new idea for celebrating the holiday season with your senior loved one this year, we have one for you to consider! How about doing something special each day during the traditional Twelve Days of Christmas? Also known as Twelvetide, it usually begins with Christmas Day being the “first day of Christmas” and January 5th being the last.
By planning a few surprises for the week after Christmas, you might help an older family member avoid the post-holiday blues many people experience. These daily doses of affection don’t have to be anything elaborate or expensive. They are just a way to show you are thinking of your loved one.
Ideas for Celebrating a Senior This Season
- Use the song for gift ideas: Follow the words to the classic holiday song Twelve Days of Christmas, and use them as a guide for what to do each day. For example, you can tie each day into a different food or beverage. Give the senior a few fresh pears for a partridge in a pear tree. And how about a bag of Dove ice-cream bars for two turtle doves? Create small tags to attach to each day’s gift.
- Spotlight the grandkids (and even the pets!): Another fun idea might be to have the grandkids make small gifts. This could be a batch of cookies or homemade fudge the younger generation makes themselves. You may want to include crafts, like hand-painted birdhouses or handmade frames with family photos. Depending on the age of the grandchildren, they could make fun videos and ecards to send. If the senior has a dog, maybe make handmade biscuits for them one day.
- Pick a theme: One more way to make these days fun is to choose a theme specific to the senior. For example, if you are trying to surprise a mother or mother-in-law who likes pretty things, small gifts like nail polish, hand lotion, slippers, foot cream, and a candle might be nice. For gardeners, you may want to offer a combination of homemade coupons they can “cash in” for help around the yard and trips to the greenhouse.
- A memory a day: Seniors are usually the historians in the family. They might be one of the last connections between your family’s roots and the younger generations. A meaningful way to show them you care is to ask them to write down and share one memory a day with the family. You could take turns calling the senior by phone or Zoom to capture these moments. By the twelfth day, you’ll have some great memories to document and save in whatever format you like.
Remember, the bottom line is to give a senior the gift of your time and love. Help them get the new year off to a great start!