Christmas and Seniors

This Christmas, Bring Joy to Someone Who Doesn’t Expect It.

For most people, Christmas is the best holiday of the year.  The Christmas season is a time of love and joy. It’s a time to celebrate with family members and friends.

In Early December, the Season Switches into High Gear.

Many people are focused on Christmas. In the business world, there is a noticeable slow down.  There is a subtle shift to holiday mode. No major decisions are made. Major projects are pushed to January. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, there are office parties and parties with friends and neighbors.

Earlier in the month, there are drives for gifts and food for less fortunate families. The people who donate to these drives feel as good about giving as those who benefit from them.

In almost every neighborhood, homes are decorated. Some homeowners go all out and create magnificent displays that draw people from all over to see. Inside almost every home there is a Christmas tree decorated lovingly with lights and ornaments.

The Culmination of the Month Long Celebration – Christmas Day itself.

When Christmas Day finally arrives, young children rush to see if Santa came and what he brought them. Wrapping paper is torn open and soon each child is lost in playing with their favorite gift.

The rest of the family sits back and watches to see how thrilled the children are.  They also watch to see each other’s reaction as they open the gifts they got for them.  Was the gift the right one? Was the person thrilled by what they received?

Later during the day, everyone gathers around the table and enjoy dinner. For some, this is a true feast they have waited almost all year for.

For Christians, Christmas is a special day. They celebrate the birth of Jesus and during the day they reflect on it.

Throughout the day . . .

. . . Love and Joy Fill the Atmosphere in the Home.

By bedtime, many are saying this was their best Christmas ever.

It’s unfortunate, but at Christmas, some people are overlooked.  One group is those people 65 and older who no longer have family or friends to celebrate the holiday with.

With each passing year, the number of friends they have declines. Some friends die. Others go to live with their children or even their grandchildren. Others move into Senior Centers, Assisted Living Centers or Nursing Homes. There are less and less friends to enjoy holidays with.

Eventually their own spouses die. They suddenly have to deal with the loss of their partner, with whom they experienced most of their lives.  They frequently are overcome with grief. The grief is more intense at Christmas.

As they age, their own health starts to deteriorate. They’re no longer as mobile as they once were. They may become disabled and may not be able to get out of their homes frequently.

So, their entire universe becomes much smaller than it was just a short time ago. The sad thing is, they are proud and won’t tell others what is happening to them. They won’t tell them how lonely they are and how anxious they are even to have a short conversation with another.

These People Are Not Excited About Christmas

For many of these, Christmas can be very depressing.  They spend it alone and grieve the loss of friends and loved ones. While they would welcome seeing anyone at all, everyone seems too busy with their own families and no one calls on them.

You can make a difference. Take some time. Think about the people who live right there in your neighborhood. There may be an older lady or man who has no one to spend this Christmas with and is going to be all alone.

If you can, invite them over to your place to spend time with you and your family. You might find them declining your offer because they don’t want to intrude or impose upon you. Be persistent and let them know you won’t take no for an answer.

If you can’t get them to come to your home, visit them at theirs. If your family will go with you, have them join you.

You may want to take a meal or some baked goodies with you for them to enjoy.

The Older Person You Reach Out to . . .

. . . will never tell you how much they really enjoyed spending time with you. However, they will be grateful you thought of them. Most probably it will be the highlight of their day. Because of you, they will enjoy Christmas.