If you're like most active older adults, you may have made some New Year’s resolutions…
No matter how you celebrate, getting ready for the holidays this year will likely be more fun than ever before. To make up for last year and spread good cheer throughout your senior living community neighborhood, get together with friends and throw a progressive holiday party! Not only is it a very entertaining way to maximize the holidays, it gives everyone a chance to share holiday décor as well as favorite dishes and treats. Here are tips for active older adults to make it a smooth, fun and festive event.
Tip #1 – Limit the distance guests have to travel. For seniors especially, keeping participating homes close together makes for more fun indoors and less traveling outdoors. A small group of neighbors works best for everyone and allows those with mobility issues to attend as well. In a senior living community like Stonebridge at Winton Woods, this is especially easy and makes for a safe and fun holiday get together.
Tip #2 — Limit the number of guests. Keep in mind that space differences between homes and apartments may require a limit on the number of people invited. With the goal of entertaining, making everyone comfortable and encouraging a light-hearted mood, consider the smallest house or apartment that will be hosting when estimating the best number of guests to invite.
Tip #3 – Get consensus on time and date. Once a group of neighbors decides to participate, it’s time to choose a date and time that works for everyone. This can be tricky with so much going on this time of year so start by asking everyone to provide three choices of each in descending order and work from those. Also set an amount of time to spend at each home so the party keeps moving along.
Tip #4 – Choose a theme or themes for food. To avoid having the same appetizers and finger foods at each stop, a theme for each home can help create more diversity. For example, a theme of “traditional family favorites” or “holidays around the world,” will encourage each host to be creative and give them the chance to show off their unique holiday recipes and family holiday heirlooms and decorations. For more theme ideas, check out the signupgenius.com blog, “40 Fun Holiday Party Themes.”
Tip #5 — Make it family friendly. For those who have children and grandchildren, the holidays can be a difficult time to get a sitter. But inviting children to come along can make it a family friendly event more entertaining and one that everyone can share. When your group decides to invite children a great way to entertain them is to ask each host to provide a simple craft project to keep them busy and provide a souvenir for them to take home. Get great ideas in the goodhousekeeping.com blog, “25 Easy and Festive Christmas Crafts for Kids That Will Keep Them Busy Until Santa’s Arrival.”
Tip #6 — Share tasks. As guests move through the neighborhood, it’s a good idea to ask each to provide a helping hand at one other host’s home. Perhaps they can tend to beverages, restock appetizers, or provide kitchen assistance. That way no one is alone and everyone gets a break from entertaining to enjoy the party.
Tip #7 — Have a holiday lighting contest. Nothing makes for a more entertaining and festive holiday season than outdoor light displays. As guests travel from home to home they will have the opportunity to view each lighting display and make their choice. At the last home, ask everyone to write their choice on a slip of paper and the last host can then count the votes and announce the winner. For really beautiful holiday lighting ideas, the hgtv.com blog, “40+ Outdoor Holiday Lighting Ideas That Dazzle,” will inspire everyone.
Tip #8 — Go caroling along the way. Rather than just strolling house to house, why not make it musical? Even the worst singers can bluff their way through a well-known carol and if needed, and those who can sing well can lead the rest. This old tradition is especially fun for kids and will get everyone in the holiday spirit. For a printable list of Christmas and Hanukah carol lyrics, try christmas-corner.com and aish.com.
At Stonebridge at Winton Woods, we embrace the holidays as a time to entertain and enjoy great food, fun, friends, and family. To find out more about StoneBridge, our housing options and amenities, please contact us today. Happy holidays!