The holidays can be lots of fun for older adults. It’s all about spending time together, feeling included, and enjoying good company.
The activities you do don’t have to be exciting to be special and meaningful. Simply joining in brings joy and helps your older adult enjoy the season.
1. Go Caroling
Carolling is a fun activity that can reduce anxiety. Singing Christmas songs could increase your self-confidence or interactions with others. If you join a group to go carolling through local neighbourhoods, the walking could increase muscle strength and alleviate joint pain. Walking to different houses could also help burn calories and lose weight.
2. Paint Window Murals
Painting murals is a traditional Christmas activity for many seniors, regardless if they have artistic abilities or not. To make this activity easier, you can find window mural templates online and print them out. Painting window murals can increase hand-eye coordination, reduce agitation, relieve stress, and lead to happier moods. Once the painting is finished, you may feel a sense of accomplishment, which could boost emotional and mental wellbeing.
3. Host Christmas Luncheon/Party
Host a Christmas party and luncheon. Play Christmas music and allow people to bond, talk and laugh together. Ask a local school or religious group to have kids come and sing carols to the party attendees. You can set up fun card and board games to play after lunch and entertainment.
4. Make Holiday Gift Baskets
Holiday baskets can include Christmas cookies and candies, in addition to snow globes, edible gingerbread houses, holiday-themed mugs, and much more. You can make these baskets to give out to family and friends for Christmas or donate the baskets to charity. Making baskets is a feel-good activity that boosts brain function. Giving the gift baskets away to family and friends or to charity is a selfless act.
5. Make Old-Fashioned Ornaments
Making ornaments allows to interact with grandchildren and share memories from the past. Today’s ornaments are fancy and made with glamorous materials, but old-fashioned ornaments could be made using Christmas cookies, Styrofoam balls, paper angels, ribbon, popcorn, peanuts, and other materials. Once the ornaments are created, you can use them to decorate the tree.
6. Christmas Bingo
Everyone loves bingo. Well maybe not everyone, but many do. Host a Christmas gift bingo party. Wrap small inexpensive items and gifts that can be handed out as prizes for winning bingo. Instead of playing for money, host free games of bingo. Have the bingo caller dress as Santa Claus and hand out the gifts after each winning game of bingo. Make sure each gift is wrapped, putting everyone in the Christmas spirit.
7. Drive To See Decorations
The setups, the spectacles and the real-life Santas make many of these displays more like carnivals than simple homes decorated with a string or two of Christmas lights.
Some places have special bus tours covering different regions to ensure that each and every family gets a chance to partake in the spirit of the season. If you live in a neighbourhood where homes are clustered together, you can also park the car and talk a walk up and down the blocks to look at the lights.