Here we are again asking people to think about the holiday celebrations and traditions differently. In years past, we would encourage family members and friends to celebrate, with a large feast around the table, late night gatherings talking about the past, present and future. As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surge throughout the country, we are asking people to find new and creative ways to stay connected and to celebrate the spirit of the holidays.
At CiminoCare, we are taking extra steps as our residents are often the most vulnerable and at risk for serious complications due to COVID-19. We recognize that even when people are physically apart, there are ways that they can remain connected — to feel a part of family traditions, to belong to community-life, and to experience some of the joys of the season
Some ideas we have had fun with and would like to share:
- Drive-Thru Celebrations — Creating a Festival of Trees Winter Drive-Thru — one of our communities had residents decorate themed trees and had friends and family drive through to take a look and share an ornament. The surprise was the snowmaking machine, making it feel like a white Christmas in Yosemite. You can try this out in your community or neighborhood.
- Giving and Receiving Gifts of the Season — Many residents want to give back to those less fortunate so try creating a giving box where residents can donate food, gift cards, and clothes to be delivered to a local charity. Take photos of staff delivering the gifts to share with residents and their loved ones.
- Gift Boxes — Have family and friends drop off presents for residents to open on Christmas Day. Who doesn’t want to find a present under the tree on Christmas morning?
- Technically Together Gingerbread making — using Zoom, build a gingerbread house ‘together’. We even had our kitchen team bake gingerbread houses to be decorated by residents either in small groups or in their rooms.
- Virtual Conversation Starters — we all are getting used to Zoom, Google Meet Up, FaceTime and other ways to “see” each other over the computer, but how to keep the conversation going? Try icebreaker cards to kick off discussions about favorite holiday foods, first memories of New Year’s Day, most embarrassing holiday outfit, favorite gift given or received… the list goes on and on. Get creative and have fun! You might be surprised what you will learn about someone.
Thank you in advance for trusting us and being willing to work with us to create a joyful holiday season, even though it looks different this year It is deeply woven into the CiminoCare culture to care with compassion as well as to have fun! We are all excited to see these ideas in action during the last few weeks of 2020!