For many of us, the holidays conjure up memories of gathering around the tree, opening presents in our pajamas, settling in to watch the television, and then enjoying a huge family meal until we pass out.
But as we get older, our traditions shift and if you are a senior who has just moved into a new home or living situation, the holidays can bring trepidation and nervousness.
Here are ways to preserve your holiday customs and traditions even if you have downsized into a new living environment as a senior citizen:
Save one thing—Think back to the traditions that have been so great in your old home with your family and friends. Don’t try to recreate all of them in your new lifestyle. Instead, pick one thing that remains important to you and focus on saving that tradition. If you love to cook, don’t try to recreate a full holiday meal that takes hours to prepare. Instead, focus on baking one signature dish that you can add to the family prepared meal.
Find a new locale—If your home was the center of holiday gatherings for all of the children and grandchildren, then you may feel that the traditional gathering is over now that you have downsized to a smaller home that can’t accommodate all of those people. Instead, pass this on to one of those family members and make their home the center of the family. If you have several children who can do this, set up a rotation so that you move the holiday party every year or so. If none of the family can serve as host, then consider renting a larger house just for the holiday from Airbnb or a similar service.
Plan outside activities—If you have moved into a smaller home, you should also consider getting out with your family for an outdoor activity. Pile into the cars and go driving around town to check out the holiday lights. Or, if you feel so inclined, make plans to meet up at your local house of worship for a holiday service. These activities outside of the home can be a huge bonding activity for you and your family.
Just because your home and living situation has changed doesn’t mean that your holiday traditions have to die out completely. A new, smaller house doesn’t have to be the center of the family gathering. Instead, you can change things up and move out to other locales to continue the family holiday fun.