Creating New Christmas Traditions in Senior Living

Christmas Traditions in Senior Living | The Estates at Carpenters

Traditions are a beloved part of Christmas, and for most of us, there are traditions that the season wouldn’t be complete without. However, time changes everything, and if you or an older loved one has moved to senior living, you might be wondering if you’ll be able to continue your most beloved traditions.

“The good news is that the answer is yes, you can still continue your favorite traditions,” says Jeanie Tini, Director of Marketing and Sales at The Estates at Carpenters, a Life Plan Community in Lakeland, FL, that offers Lifecare. “Here’s the even better news: you and your loved ones can adapt and create new Christmas traditions that will help you enjoy the season even more.”

Jeanie says that, truthfully, a lot of Christmas traditions are a lot of work. “Making a huge meal, coordinating gift-giving, decorating the house – that’s a lot of work and stress,” Jeanie explains. “When a loved one moves to a senior living community, it’s a great opportunity for everyone to take a look at what’s been done in the past, discover what’s really important and start new traditions that better reflect the new reality.”

Changing up long-standing traditions can be fun, creative and freeing. If you or your loved one have downsized to a senior living community this year, here are some suggestions for how to create new traditions that will help your season be holly jolly and very merry, no matter how you celebrate.

  1. Do some holiday (tradition) housecleaning.
    All of us have certain Christmas traditions that are simply non-negotiable. For some, that may be an annual cookie baking season, or a caroling party or attending midnight mass. Those traditions mean the most, so find ways to keep them this year or adapt them in order to make them more accessible. At the same time, think about the traditions that you’ve been doing “just because” that aren’t really all that meaningful except for the fact that you’ve done them every year. Those, you can pack away as fond memories, giving you more time and opportunity to create new traditions that will soon become fast favorites.
  2. Look for unique outings.
    Senior living communities are great places to be around the holiday season because there’s always something going on. From holiday meals to festive outings to performances and more, the Christmas season is filled with all sorts of events that you don’t have to coordinate – you just have to show up and enjoy. Take a look at your new community’s schedule and see what looks interesting; there might be a new favorite tradition just waiting to be discovered.
  3. Rethink gift-giving.
    Moving into a smaller space means less space for gifts – which can be a very good thing, as it turns out. As we get older, our family members age, too, and most of them (if they were being honest) don’t necessarily want any more “stuff.” We’ve all learned that it’s time with others that’s the most meaningful, so instead of hurrying around to get more “stuff” that no one wants, look for unique ways to spend time together in a meaningful way. Consider picking names out of a hat or giving an experience in lieu of “stuff.” You could also donate your time or resources to help those less fortunate.
  4. Do something completely unexpected.
    A big life change – like moving to a senior living community – is an opportunity to do a complete 180 with holiday traditions. Have you always hosted Christmas dinner at your house? This year, why not rent out a room at your senior living community and have the meal catered … or, even better, hand off the hosting duties to the younger generation? You can also completely reinvent your holiday gathering by not gathering and instead taking a trip with just a small group of people (or yourself). Christmas isn’t just about one day; it’s about a season and a feeling that can last the whole year long.
  5. Reach out to your new neighbors.
    As we already mentioned, there are always lots of fun things to do at a senior living community during the holiday season. It’s also a great opportunity to reach out to new friends and neighbors who may not have family members or Christmas plans this year. There’s the family we’re born into and the family we create … and nothing celebrates the spirit of the season more than reaching out and sharing that love to those young and old.

No matter what your Christmas looks like this year, remember that it’s not about the stuff, the food or the decorations: it’s all about celebrating and being with the people we love. Whether that’s in-person, over Zoom or spread out throughout the year, it’s the memories that transform this time of year into something magical. So, set out to create some magic – because that’s what Christmas and our most beloved traditions are really all about.

About The Estates at Carpenters

The Estates at Carpenters is a Life Plan Community offering worry-free independent living, assisted living and high-quality skilled nursing care and rehabilitation. For over 35 years, The Estates has provided older adults in the area with an active, engaging lifestyle filled with abundant choices and the amenities and services that make life easier. A lifestyle designed to keep older adults healthy and well today – and tomorrow.

For more information on The Estates or to RSVP to an upcoming event, contact Jeanie at 863-279-4503 or visit our website.

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