There are so many ways to include your older loved one in fun fall activities, especially since the weather is cooler and the leaves are beginning to turn. You can start by asking your elder what activities they enjoyed when they were young. Perhaps they helped with the apple harvest or enjoyed picking out that perfect big pumpkin.
Apple Picking & Caramel Apples
Taking a day trip to a local apple orchard can be a real treat for both of you. Make sure to bring home a variety of crisp apples and don’t forget the cider so many orchards produce. My mother loves to get a big caramel apple loaded with walnuts. Just don’t forget to ask for a plastic knife. Those apples are messy and can be hard to eat.
After you both have recovered from your “field trip,” have your loved one tell you their favorite apple desert. Perhaps they still have their mother’s recipe? Have them help you in the kitchen and they’ll be sure to enjoy the day.
Spooky Tales of Halloween Past
I know you have special memories of Halloween when you were a child. Do you know if your parents went trick-or-treating? What kind of costumes did they wear for the scary night? Most of them probably bobbed for apples. Why not have some of the grandkids over so they can give it a try. Any time you can get kids together with elders makes for great memories. Bake cookies and make spiced cider to make it a sweet celebration. I make my spiced cider in a slow-cooker. My grandkids love it!
Your elder will love to sit out on the porch and hand out the candy to the neighborhood kids. Make sure they are warm and have a big bowl of candy prepared. Seeing those little ones all dressed up is sure to be a hit with your older loved one.
Don’t forget to ask if spooky tales were a part of their Halloweens long ago. Did they gather around a bonfire and roast marshmallows while being scared to death by someone’s tall tale? Did their mother make fresh pumpkin pie from pumpkins they grew or bought locally?
Thanksgiving for most families are one of the best times of the year. Get started early and ask what foods and traditions your loved one grew up with. Ask them for recipes their mother cooked for Thanksgiving. Did their father go out and hunt for the biggest turkey he could find? Or did they ask their local butcher for the perfect tender bird?
What kind of stuffing was your parents’ favorite? Do you make it just the same? Did their own mother’s use a special ingredient? Small things mean a lot to elders. Just talking about the Thanksgivings of yesteryear can be so comforting and it’s a fun way to share some great stories of their childhoods.
Get out the photo albums and see if there’s some great prints of long-ago holiday celebrations. Enlarged re-prints would be so sweet to display for your special days and you can add more for each and every year making it a new fall tradition.