‘Tis the season where snow falls, holiday lights go up and friends and family fret over gifts for each other. The winter is here and, while this year is going to look a bit different than previous years, there’s no shortage of fun holiday activities for older adults.
At Chicago Methodist Senior Services, we strongly believe that cultural diversity should be honored and respected. No matter what holidays you celebrate, here are some activities for older adults to get involved in:
Christmas Activities for Older Adults
While you might have outgrown going to the mall to sit on Santa Claus’s lap and let him know what you want for Christmas, there are plenty of other things you can do to stay busy. Here are a few:
Make birdseed ornaments. You may have decorated Christmas trees in the past, but why not make an ornament that can live on your favorite tree and feed birds?
Watch your favorite Christmas movie. Whether that’s “A Christmas Carol,” “It’s a Wonderful Life” or another film, now is the time to sit back, relax and get nostalgic watching one of the great Christmas movies.
Play a Christmas-themed game. Are you a fan of trivia or bingo? These are great games to play virtually to get competitive with friends and family.
No matter your preferred activity, Christmas offers older adults many ways to spread the holiday cheer.
Hanukkah Activities for Older Adults
If you celebrate the Jewish festival of light, you know there are eight days to commemorate the miracle of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem. So, what are some new activities to get involved in?
Try a new Hanukkah-inspired recipe. If you’re looking for a new take on one of your traditional Hanukkah meals, take a look at these 15 recipes for everything from latkes to matzo ball soup.
Stimulate your mind with a Hanukkah word search game. Similar to a crossword puzzle, see how fast you can find the hidden words in these word grids.
Make your own Hanukkah Menorah candles. Doesn’t it sound more fun to light candles that you created?
There are plenty of other activities to get involved in, so think about how you can get creative with dreidels, tableware, gelt coins and more!
Kwanzaa Activities for Older Adults
On Dec. 26th, millions of African Americans will celebrate the first day of Kwanzaa. Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to a principle, which include: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. With these principles in mind, here are a few fun holiday activities for Kwanzaa:
Share cultural history on Karamu — the feast held on Dec. 31st. While you might not be able to see all of your friends and family this year, think about a song, story or dance you can share virtually to celebrate the holiday.
Create some Kwanzaa arts and crafts with your grandkids over Zoom or FaceTime. Whether you’re making a Kinara or a Unity Cup, here are some great options to keep you busy!
Send loved ones a Kwanzaa-inspired dish. Make your loved one’s day by delivering them a tasty treat.
New Year’s Activities for Older Adults
Whether or not you enjoy staying up until midnight, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the new year even while social distancing.
Try a new recipe for the new year. People around the world have their own cultural food traditions for ringing in the new year. Cook something your family loved to eat around the holidays when you were growing up, or teach yourself to make a traditional new year’s dish that you’ve never tried before. There’s plenty of information online about the significance of these dishes and how to make them.
Create a homemade photobooth. You may have seen tutorials for home photo booths for new year’s parties in the past, but there’s no reason to limit yourself just because you can’t have a party this year. Order some decorations or art supplies to set up your own personal backdrop, and send photos to family and friends or even use it as a background for new year’s video calls.
No matter the holiday you celebrate, CMSS hopes you have a fun, safe holiday. Merry Christmas! Chag Sameach! Kwanzaa blessings to you and yours! Happy New Year!