There are so many fun and creative ways you can celebrate and prepare for Christmas at your care home. We asked our activity co-ordinators community to share their ideas, and we’ve been overwhelmed by what you have all put together, a veritable feast of activities and excursions! These are some of our favourite ideas.
Get schools in to sing for you; invite the local Salvation Army band for some sing-a-long carols; go to see a pantomime, or get the pantomime to come to you! Organise your own Christmas carol service or take residents to a local one, there are often ‘light a life’ services at the local churches, to remember loved and lost family members too. Christmas Fairs are a great way to do a bit of fundraising – you can make Christmas cards, crafts (these sock snowman come highly recommended and our Resource Packs are filled with crafting ideas), decorations, mince pies and mulled wine or mulled apple juice to sell. If a Fair is a bit much, a Christmas coffee morning makes for a gentle way to celebrate, invite friends and relatives and do some simple Christmas craft-making, such as Christingles, and get everyone to wear a Christmas jumper.
Spend some time with residents making a Christmas cake or Christmas pudding, giving everyone a chance to stir and wish. Christmas food is a great way to bring people together in fact, so why not run a Christmas party day for residents and families, with Christmas stalls, a buffet and dancing in the evening - our Resource Packs have all the music and games you'll need to keep things lively. Or simply make a special occasion of decorating the tree, with mince pies, sherry and some festive music; and later spend some time opening presents around the tree with tea and Christmas cake. And of course, Christmas is a great opportunity for reminiscence, our Sparkles will have all manner of festive themes and topics, and our Resource Pack has a special section for memories of Christmas during wartime - but you could also take your residents out to local schools to share their own Christmas experiences with pupils, and visit local festive landmarks – the town Christmas tree, Christmas fairs or Christmas lights. Whatever you're doing with residents, enjoy it. And Happy Christmas!
With thanks to Jan Millward, Robyn Taylor, Debs Healey and Lauren Till.