The holiday season is all about laughter, joy and spending time with friends and family. It doesn’t matter what age you are — you’re never too old to participate in holiday festivities. At Riddle Village, we make our senior living community as festive as possible during the winter by planning holiday activities for seniors. Here are some of the top holiday traditions.
Singing Holiday Songs
Every December, radio stations start pumping out Christmas tunes like “Frosty the Snowman” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” It’s safe to say no holiday season is complete without some good old-fashioned songs. Listening to an older adult’s favorite tunes is also one of the best holiday activities for seniors, including those with physical or cognitive limitations.
What makes holiday music so great is that it encourages everyone to get in a festive mood. Older adults can gather together for a sing-along or even put on a show for loved ones. If someone isn’t in the mood to sing, simply listening to holiday songs can be just as fun.
Hanging Up Holiday Decorations
There’s no better way to ring in the holiday season than by hanging up classic holiday decorations. Decorations look beautiful, and they elevate moods and spread joy. Some of the most popular decorations include:
- A Christmas tree
- Garlands and ribbons
- A menorah
Decorations let you celebrate a number of different cultures and holidays, such as Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. The act of decorating also offers a great opportunity to bond with one another.
Having a Holiday Movie Night
In the winter, holiday-themed movies start to dominate our televisions. Whether you’re watching a feel-good holiday movie or a modern take on a Christmas classic, a friend or family movie night is guaranteed to be a good time. Here are some of the most popular holiday films.
- It’s a Wonderful Life
- Miracle on 34th Street
- Home Alone
- The Polar Express
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas
You can boost the holiday spirit by slipping under a warm blanket or whipping up a delicious batch of hot cocoa.
Cooking Favorite Holiday Foods
One thing that always brings friends and family members together is food. The holiday season is known for tons of delicious dishes, such as:
- Sugar cookies
- Turkey and ham
You don’t have to be an expert chef to prepare favorite holiday foods. Anyone, from young kids to older adults, can get in the kitchen and have a good time making these classics.
You are never too old to play games. You can take virtually any board game or party game and incorporate a holiday theme. Below are a few ideas to try out.
If you’re looking for a holiday activity that’s fun for all ages, consider getting a holiday-themed puzzle. Puzzles are entertaining, but they also provide mental stimulation that encourages memory function in older adults.
Holiday Trivia Night
Trivia games are a great way to learn more about your favorite holidays and have some fun while you’re at it. You can use them to spruce up a party or an event, or you can just enjoy a quiet night of trivia at home with close family and friends. To make things more exciting, offer a prize to the person who answers the most questions correctly.
If you’re a fan of charades, playing holiday charades during the winter is a blast. Older adults will have lots of fun acting out holiday-themed cards (and trying to guess what their peers are pretending to be). You can invest in a holiday charades set or simply make the cards yourself.
Have you ever tried to guess how many candies are in a jar? Ornament guess offers a Christmas twist to this classic game by putting the candy in an ornament as opposed to a jar or box. You can also accomplish this by using holiday-themed treats, such as candy canes.
You can turn nearly any traditional game into a holiday one, and bingo is no exception. Instead of classic letters and numbers, replace the bingo icons with holiday graphics. You could also replace them with the names of popular holiday songs. The announcer could play the songs rather than call out numbers.
Hide the Elf
“Hide the Elf” combines Christmas spirit with good old-fashioned scavenger hunts. The game itself is pretty simple — all you have to do is hide an elf toy and then have friends and family search for it. You can also shake things up by offering a reward to the person who finds it.
Exploring the Neighborhood
During the holiday season, most neighborhoods undergo a total transformation. You’ll see bright lights, stunning decorations and smiling Santa Clauses on every street corner. Here are some locations that might be festive during December.
- Shopping malls
- Local parks
- Town library
Older adults can take a stroll with family and friends, get some fresh air and appreciate these locations in-person. Some neighborhoods may even host events, such as a sing-along or holiday arts and crafts session.
Hosting a Holiday Party
Holiday parties are a great opportunity for older adults to socialize, celebrate and enjoy good music and food. Whether you’re hosting your own party or attending as a guest, you’re bound to make precious memories. Here are a few popular party themes you can try out.
Gift Wrap Party
Giving gifts is a special part of the holidays, but wrapping them alone isn’t very fun. Instead of handling the tedious chore of wrapping presents on your own, consider making an event out of it. During a gift wrap party, everyone has their own space to wrap and tag presents. Older adults can take breaks to eat and socialize, turning a mandatory task into a fun event.
Ugly Christmas Sweater Party
Ugly Christmas sweater parties are an event where being unfashionable is actually cool. At these parties, everyone wears cozy holiday-themed sweaters. The clothing is comfortable, and it can serve as a topic of conversation as older adults mingle with each other.
White Elephant Party
A white elephant event combines Christmas gift-giving with the art of surprise. Everyone brings a (secret) wrapped gift, which goes into a circle. Then, each guest draws a number. These numbers determine the order in which people can select gifts. You can choose a gift that someone has already opened, or you can go for a surprise in the middle. However, it’s more about the experience than the actual gift. You’ll have tons of fun seeing the different things people decided to bring.
A secret Santa event shares similarities with white elephant parties. They both involve gifts and surprises. However, a secret Santa needs to be planned ahead of time. You put everyone’s name in a hat and each person draws a name. You buy a gift for the person whose name you drew. At the event, older adults can reveal their identities and surprise their selected person with a special gift.
As the holidays draw nearer, many older adults will host a formal dinner party. This can be a celebration with friends or a family event. You can also get creative with the food. If you love cooking, you might want to prepare the holiday meal yourself. However, if cooking isn’t your thing, consider hosting a potluck instead.
Most of us have our own holiday traditions we enjoy every year, from setting up Christmas trees and hanging ornaments to singing songs and exchanging gifts. However, there are plenty of other holiday customs you might know nothing about.
Recently, more older adults have been hosting seminars as a way to learn more about other cultures. All you have to do is get a group of people together and let everyone share their own personal stories. As an added bonus, this activity can help with memory stimulation.
Holiday Fun at Riddle Village
At Riddle Village, we offer tons of holiday activities for our residents, A festive tree lighting, caroling, menorah lighting, a holiday concert by the Riddle Village Chorus and New Years Eve seafood buffets are just some events our residents look forward to every year. Our goal is to create a positive, joyful holiday environment for everyone in our community. In addition to fun holiday events, we offer the following:
- Personal and skilled nursing services
- Nutritious meals
- Fitness and meditation sessions
Learn more about our senior living community by visiting us online and requesting a brochure today! To schedule a visit, you can call us here: 610-891-3700.