New Holiday Traditions for New Times

Fall is in the air. We are ready for pumpkin spices, sparkling holiday lights and enjoyable moments with families and friends, BUT

These are new times. Holidays this year will be different. After all, we all want to stay safe from COVID-10 and the flu.

So, how do we celebrate the holiday and still protect ourselves and our loved ones?

Here are some ideas to start your own creative ideas flowing.

Keep many of your familiar traditions.

  • Holiday meals with people who live with you

Plan favorite foods that bring back the sights and tastes of holidays past. The group may be smaller than last year, but the nostalgia will be the same.

  • Holiday decorations, cards and phone calls

Making homes special for a holiday and sharing greetings bring joy to holidays. Have you always had a jack-o-lantern or sent cards? Consider even more decorations, cards and calls this year to create holiday feelings and adjust for some of the distancing you may be feeling.

  • Gifts, food and flowers delivered to the door of loved ones

Doing for others is a special part of holidays. You can still share special treats; just stay at a distance.

  • In-person outdoor visits with people who are symptom free

Some people may choose to have time together, face to face. An outdoor heater and spiced tea will make this comfortable when the temperature drops. Of course, if choose to meet in person, be sure to wear masks, stay at least six feet apart, and wash often. Remember “Safety First!”

Create new traditions that fit today’s needs.

  • Holiday meals, decorating and sharing gift opening – at a distance, at the same time

Decide on a time to meet online and enjoy seeing each other celebrate.  Zoom, HouseParty and other digital platforms let you have dinner together, share holiday songs and candle lighting, and watch the delight of folks as they open gifts.

  • Holiday movies, concerts and travel

Invite your loved ones to download an online video of a favorite holiday movie, decorations from around the world or a holiday concert. Ask everyone to watch the program at the same time you do. Call during or after the show to chat about what you saw.

  • Sharing your favorite recipes or decorating tips

Use your phone or tablet to record you setting up a holiday display or baking special cookies. Send the video to your loved ones. Put  your phones on speaker mode and  talk them through the steps of the project while they try it out

What are your creative ideas for new traditions for new times? Sharing your ideas with others is, in itself, a way to enjoy the holidays this year.

For support during social distancing and more ideas for staying connected, join The Age Coach’s weekly online conversations. Contact TheAgeCoach@gmail.com for information.

Socializing Safely Today

We know that having regular, caring and stimulating social contact is vital to older adults’ (and everyone else’s!) physical and cognitive health. Sometimes, though, we have to figure out how to stay in touch when visits aren’t possible.

Right now, visiting is inadvisable for many. So, what can children and other caring people do? How creative can you be?

Here are some ideas to start the creativity ball rolling:

  • Help your loved one use digital platforms, such as Facetime or Skype; then have “face to face” conversations.
  • Send text messages full of loving emojis.
  • Email digital greeting cards and photographs.
  • Arrange for delivery of your loved one’s favorite prepared (and safe) meals.
  • Place a bucket of pansies or tulips outside a window to color the view.
  • And, of course, call often. Regular calls, even several short ones during the day, will help your loved one socialize from a distance.