Although preparing a turkey dinner and trimming a tree may take a little work, once Christmas is here, the joy of meeting up with relatives and friends makes it all seem worthwhile. But, in this extraordinary year, when you must factor in safety for every interaction, holidays have become a little more complicated. To help you figure out how to safely celebrate that most social of holidays, we’ve come up with a few pointers.
Christmas gifts for Seniors might look a little different this year.
Gift Giving Alternatives
When it comes to buying gifts, shopping in crowded stores or holiday markets is not a wise move, especially if you are over 65 or have health problems. Luckily, you can shop online at many stores, including some small independent businesses. If you prefer buying from bigger players, know that Amazon, Macy’s, and many others offer free returns as well as gift wrapping services for a small fee.
As to what to buy, consider books, e-books or audiobooks, or subscriptions to magazines or newspapers. Consider gifting a friend a Master Class or a subscription to a streaming service like HBO Max. Another idea now that many people are avoiding in-person exercise is online yoga or fitness class passes. Also, think about giving your loved ones something to spice up their home, say, nice sheets, decorative placemats, or a window garden herb kit. Then too, a beautiful holiday-themed floral arrangement could go a long way to lifting a friend’s spirits.
Besides this, consider donating to organizations your loved ones feel passionate about or giving gift cards to local stores or restaurants or memberships to museums (to be used when COVID-19 settles down). You could also get creative and knit a scarf, craft a paper lantern, or bake Christmas cookies or other special treats.
As to delivering Christmas gifts to Seniors, mail them, drop them off on doorsteps, have a gift exchange around a picnic table, or get together on Zoom and open your gifts at the same time.
Holiday Activity Options
During the holidays, a sure way to boost your spirits—and those around you– is to decorate your house, especially the exterior. Afterward, don’t forget to go for a drive to view holiday lights in your neighborhood or beyond, or ask a friend to go for a Christmas stroll to see the sights. Another low-risk way to spend Christmas is watching holiday movies at home with your family.
Singing in groups is high-risk, so take a pass on caroling this year, and avoid parties, especially where singing might be involved. Think twice before attending or hosting any social events. Although family (and restaurant) gatherings are allowed if they don’t exceed eight people or a maximum of two family groups, this can still expose you to the coronavirus. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) points out, celebrating virtually or with your own household members is the lowest risk way to spend the holidays.
Nevertheless, if you feel you must have loved ones over for dinner, space out the seating as much as possible and consider using an air purifier, which might help reduce viruses if appropriately used. Also, limit the number of people in the kitchen and assign one (mask-wearing) person to serve food. Additionally, see if your guests are open to saving conversation for before and after meals, and remember to give air hugs instead of the real thing. Finally, keep in mind that it is less risky to dine with people who practice social distancing (and, ideally, have self-isolated for two weeks) than those who do not typically take precautions.
Interested in learning more about Blakeford Senior Life’s services and programs? Contact a senior living specialist today!