Celebrating with family is how most of us honor the holiday season. However, for some families, there might be people who can’t be there in-person to partake in the festivities.
This can include grandparents who are in another state, who have an illness keeping them away, or who reside in a nursing facility. Sometimes, it’s the opposite; children live away from their parents and grandparents. Travel expenses, distance and time might make it difficult to get away during the holidays to visit.
Those who are unable to spend time together with their families can still show their love and bring some fun to the occasion.
When you are away from home, it’s nice to have reminders of the people you love. With social media, it seems easy to get connected, but not everyone has taken advantage of the new technology. Create mini books or collages (in different shapes), complete with photos, about everything that happened this year. There also are questionnaires you can make or download to have the kids fill out about their grandparents — this is a great way show the kids care. If your loved one needs a good laugh, there are many DIY projects from Pinterest, including ones like BuzzFeed’s creating bookmarks with laminated photos of grandchildren or placing pictures of the kids in clear plastic soap bottles; both are sure to get a chuckle with every use.
Make it Useful
“I don’t need anything” often is heard from those we are trying to show our love through gifts. Instead of opting for a gift they don’t need, think of things that can be useful by providing a gift of experience. If the grandparents always eat at a certain restaurant in town, get a gift card to that favorite place, or get them a membership to a favorite attraction or tickets to an upcoming play — and make a plan to go with them.
For tech savvy grandparents, make some time during this season for them to enjoy special moments with your family. Designate certain nights to sing songs together or have a story time via Facetime, Skype, etc. Have the grandparent or child share a story about their favorite Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. Have younger children record a video, short play, sing a song or write a special message to their grandparents.
Remember their Favorites
Family members who are in nursing homes or who are unable to visit due to illness might benefit from reminders of home. Bring holiday traditions to the hospital or nursing facility. Bring food created from their famous recipes or look through old photo albums so family members can discuss and share memories.
Have them Share their Talents
Does grandpa or grandma have a special gift such as drawing, sewing, knitting, wood carving, etc.? Let them share those talents with their grandchildren by having the kids create a certificate to request a special one-on-one session. Also, it might bring joy for grandpa or grandma to create something for their grandchild. For example, if he or she is a talented artist, have them draw a photo for their grandchildren. You can frame it and then showcase it for the whole family during the season.