The holiday season is nearly upon us, and that means the preparations for the festive period are now very much ongoing. Though Christmas is clearly a time to be thankful and to enjoy everything it has to offer, it’s also important to consider how it impacts upon those you love.
When it comes to elderly relatives, the time can prove problematic on a number of levels, and it’s during this season, you need to go that extra mile to make sure that they are doing well and healthy in both body and mind.
The festive season is incredibly important for families and especially so for the older members who may have an entirely different association with the period than perhaps the younger portions of your family unit.
It’s a time when you’ll want to make sure they feel part of the overall occasion, and this needs to be achieved without them feeling like a burden.
Making sure this can be accomplished will take planning, and here are some helpful tips as well as some key reasons why it matters so much.
Tough Time for the Elderly
Christmas can be a tough time for elderly relatives, especially those who live far away from their families, and you should do all you can to include them in any larger family gatherings.
We all try to make as much of an effort as possible when it comes to spending time with our older relatives, but sometimes life gets in the way. It may even be months or years since you’ve spent quality time with them, but when it comes to Christmas time, this is when you really need to go that extra mile, and we mean both literally and metaphorically.
If you are hosting the family for the holidays, you should invite them to the proceedings. This may involve a certain amount of effort and could be problematic on many levels, but these are sacrifices you should be willing to make at this time of year.
If you do invite your older relatives, mothers, fathers, or grandparents, then you should make sure your house or residence is prepared for their arrival. That may mean collecting them from their homes or care facilities and making slight adjustments to your abode and, indeed, potential seating arrangements for the Christmas meal.
All of these preparations should be set in place way in advance. This is for two reasons, firstly so you can make sure you are prepared as possible and secondly so that your relatives feel less of an imposition.
Though your elderly relatives may insist, politely, that they don’t want any gifts this year, that doesn’t mean you should take them at their word. Indeed, you may find out to your cost that doing so will upset them.
One good way to make the holiday season a special one is to make any such gift one that is very personal. For instance, consider a stylish mother-daughter necklace that would no doubt be very gratefully received and cherished for years to come.
Go Old School
With presents and Christmas in mind, why not go old school? If you do have elderly relatives over for the festivities, then you might want to dial back the technological aspects that we now rely heavily upon.
Get your children to make and write handmade Christmas cards for their grandparents, play pass the parcel, sing a carol, and do the things that you know they’ll appreciate and that will make them feel more a part of the activities rather than a third wheel that is getting in the way.
You, and your children, may actually learn to like the more ‘simple’ approach to Christmas, and keeping these traditions alive will mean a lot to the older members of your family.
Leave Past Problems Behind
Let’s be honest; Christmas can be a challenging time. Many of us will no doubt end up bickering with one another, and harsh words may end up being said, but that doesn’t lessen the importance of the event as a whole.
You may have fallen out with elements of your brood, and perhaps when it comes to elderly relatives, some ancient feuds and disagreements continue to haunt you. Maybe it’s time to leave these problems behind.
Being very plain and direct, those you may have had arguments and quarrels with may not be with us very much longer, and Christmas is genuinely the perfect occasion to let bygones be bygones.
Reminders of the Past
The elderly often struggle with the Christmas period as it does, in some way, accentuate the past and could be more closely associated with others who have passed away. Therefore it’s hugely important that you make more of an effort over the season.
If your ties with these elderly members of your family, perhaps your parents, aren’t particularly tight, that doesn’t mean you can’t make that extra effort. Sure, there are a million reasons to avoid it, and perhaps the issues you know might arise from the meeting could be painful, but on the whole, the positives far outweigh the negatives.
Christmas is all about spending time with the ones you love, taking stock, and appreciating what really matters in life. By encouraging your elderly relatives to be part of that will be hugely beneficial for everyone and will really help to make this Christmas a truly special one.