While the winter holidays are something most of us look forward to, they can be really hard for folks going through a tough time. So, try some of these holiday tips to make the days a little easier and to bring a bit of cheer.
- Be a Secret Pal! Do they celebrate a particular holiday (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s) over the winter? Get your whole family or the neighborhood involved! Think up fun inexpensive gifts, wrap them, and then secretly deliver one gift each day to the front door.
- Invite them to dinner. Of course, you can always add an extra chair or two to your holiday table and offer an invitation to your own celebration. Don’t forget to ask your guests if they have food preferences or restrictions. Look online if you need any special recipes.
- Deliver the celebration to them. When folks can’t muster up the strength to join you, consider bringing the celebration to them. Ask a group of people to contribute to a holiday dinner for a sick friend, a shut-in, or someone grieving. Have them sign up to make some extra portions of their tastiest holiday dish (main dish, side dishes, salad, bread, dessert, etc.).
Remind the cooks to practice careful hand washing and safe cooking rules so they don’t bring additional illness to the family. If a cook is starting to get sick, find someone else who can prepare another dish. This is no time to spread illness to the family you are trying to help. And, there will be lots of opportunities to help at another time.
- Make dinner cleanup easy. Don’t forget to provide disposable and colorful plates, plasticware, tablecloths, napkins, cups, and a trash bag. Clean up will be a snap!
- Let the kids to join in. Help them create a greeting card to go along with the meal that you will be delivering. This will give the kids a chance to express their concern and to feel the joy of giving.
- Include some activities for the family’s kids. A parent who is sick or focusing on a sick child may not have the energy to entertain the other children. Send along a basket or goody bag with some simple things (activity books, coloring books, crayons or markers, a cheerful holiday video, playing dough, jigsaw puzzle, etc.) so the kids can entertain themselves.
The few minutes you spend spreading a bit of cheer might just leave some unexpected moments of happiness behind. And, after all, isn’t that what the holidays are all about?
Allidah and Bonnie