We never know when will be the last holiday we get to spend with a beloved family member. Actually, there are no guarantees for any of us to be around for another year of family gatherings. Let us all make the most of our holidays this year and create memories to last and memorabilia to help us remember.
Trick or Treats
My daughter has a great tradition of inviting all the young and old relatives to her house on Halloween. Us old people sit on the porch and hand out candy while eating some delicious chili and cornbread. We get to see all the grandkids dressed up and excited but don’t have to chase them down the street for candy. They have parents that can do that. We just hold down the fort.
What Special Memories of Christmases Past Do You Hold Dear?
Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings hold special places in our hearts. While the food is wonderful and the decorations beautiful, it’s the gathering of family and friends that means the most and creates those wonderful memories that stay with us forever. I love asking my parents about their childhood Christmases. I know they love to hear me talk about my own memories of Christmases long ago. It wasn’t the presents that I remember so much, but that my daddy always ate the cookies I sat out for Santa and the story he read to me from the Bible before I went to sleep. It makes me wonder what memories my own children cherish the most.
Capturing the Moments
Everyone needs to have a family photographer for these special days. I’m always the one who takes all the pictures and I love it. I can share the photos with all the family on Facebook and my mama loves for me to have them printed out for her big basket stash on her coffee table. Make sure you have a designated photographer or perhaps two to play it safe. After the holidays, print out the favorites for your non-computing senior family members. Go a step further and put them into an album to be shared on the next holiday gathering.
Saving the Family’s Favorite Recipes
None of us are going to be here forever so you’d better get those favorite recipes from the family members that do them the best. The holidays are the perfect time to share recipes and organize them into a family recipe book. They make great gifts for giving and make sure to have lots of copies to pass down to the younger people. Have everyone who shares a recipe include one of the special holiday memories. There are also numerous digital recipe organizers that makes sharing easy.
Keeping Your Older Loved Ones Involved
The holidays can be the loneliest time for older people who live alone or in an assisted living facility. Make time for them. Connect with your other relatives and get everyone involved in visiting granny often during November and December. Plan some activities that they will enjoy while visiting you. Take them shopping. Take them to lunch. Get to know their favorite things about the holidays of both long ago and recent gatherings. Don’t forget to ask for their favorite recipes. You might ask them if you could “borrow” their old cookbook to retrieve special recipes from the past. I sure wish I had my granny’s cookbook but no one’s talking about where it went! Somebody doesn’t like to share!
What traditions do you love to continue each year? Does everyone at your Thanksgiving table say what they are thankful for? Do you always take a ride during the Christmas season to look at the lights? Do you go to a church service on Christmas Eve? We’d love to hear about your traditions. I think I’m in the mood for some new ones!