Yea, that sounds strange doesn’t it? Nobody ever asks “What does Grandpa (or grandma) want for Christmas?” The holidays have evolved into a magical season focused mainly on gift giving, party throwing and decorating — oh….and the occasional reminder to keep Christ in Christmas. As we all crowd shopping centers and surf Amazon, checking the boxes of our own holiday “to-do” lists, we invite you to take a step back and think about the seniors in your life. What do THEY want?
They want to feel included.
When you’re a child, the holiday season is the best time of year, of course. When you become the parent, the thrill of planning, hosting and presenting the holidays becomes your “thing”….inspired by HGTV, Pinterest and the plethora of enviable Facebook posts. However, when your children are grown, with children of their own, you suddenly have to hand over the reins. That can be hard for many people. Taking a back seat when you were once in the driver’s seat can make you feel like you’re no longer needed. One of the best gifts you can give a senior is to include them in the planning process.
They want to go shopping.
Many seniors can’t drive anymore or find navigating a shopping center overwhelming. Our ability to just hop in the car and run down to the mall is a gift in itself. The older we get, the more joy we get from giving and our seniors want to give, but oftentimes find it difficult to even know what gift to give. Help them by taking them shopping… or, during this time, even sitting with them and helping them order gifts online would mean so much.
They want to “feel the magic” of the holidays.
You know, see the lights, hear the music. Think of ways you can bring the holidays to them. Help them put up some decorations at home. Take them on a drive to see Christmas lights. Go listen to a seasonal concert. Start a holiday tradition with grandkids. (Maybe we’ll make that another post!) Bake and decorate holiday cookies together.
They want to reminisce.
The holidays are often a time for reflection. “What does Grandpa want for Christmas?” maybe it is simply to recall old times. Older family members will talk about “the way things used to be.” It’s a good time to look at old family photo albums or have them tell stories about how Christmas was for them as a child. This makes them feel valued and can create beautiful connections between generations.
They want to be loved.
So when asking yourself, “What does Grandpa want for Christmas?” just remember that most of all, seniors just want to feel genuinely loved. Spending time with them and letting them know now much you love them is one of the best gifts you can give. So everyone at The Nursing Team encourages you this holiday season, despite the limitations of COVID-19 and social distancing, to think of ways you can reach out to older family members, neighbors and friends.
The Nursing Team is a family owned and locally operated home care agency based in Lee’s Summit, Missouri and serving the surrounding areas. If you need someone to take over some caregiving responsibilities during the holidays, so you can focus on the planning and inclusion of loved ones in activities, call us for a free consultation at 816.282.6998. We’d be happy to help you make their holiday memorable.