You can wrap presents up with pretty paper and bows, but the truth is, gift giving can be a major cause of family holiday stress. During what is supposed to be a joyful time, seniors can find themselves struggling to complete shopping under stressful circumstances and trying to choose the right gifts for family members of all ages. This, however, doesn’t have to be the case.
The hectic holiday season creates a perfect opportunity to redefine gift giving and transform the tradition into time spent with loved ones. As Multigenerational Program Manager for Hebrew SeniorLife, I frequently witness the benefits of fostering relationships between seniors and younger generations. This is important to do within families and the holidays can provide the perfect time to deepen connections.
The following suggestions are not a list of typical gifts, but instead, ways to give quality time to family members and enjoy each other during the holidays. These “gifts” can decrease family holiday stress while emphasizing the importance of emotional connections and relationships – things that will certainly be appreciated and last longer than anything bought in a store.
- Share a favorite recipe and teach family members how to cook it.
- Host a game or book night during the holiday season.
- Work with family members to research and choose a charity to support.
- Teach family members a new song.
- Host a special dinner and enlist all family members to help.
- Share a story from your past or childhood holiday memories.
- Plan a community service night for your family to give back together.
- Younger family members can update seniors on technology, whether it’s teaching them how to Skype or view pictures on Facebook, as a way to feel more connected.