There is always room for cheer this holiday season and I want to share a great way to spread the love to those who may be feeling lonely this time of year. There are many elderly people who sadly spend the holidays in a group home environment with very little contact with their loved ones. As a child, my grammar school always made a point to visit at least one of these homes for the elderly during the Holiday season. This idea is an easy way to fill your own heart with joy while at the same time, stock up on some Karma points...
Find a local group retirement home and give them a call to see if they would be interested in some visitors. Be sure to find out when social hours may occur. You don't want to stop by during lunch, dinner or nap-time...also, find out how many residents will be around the day that you stop by. You want to be sure that you have enough treats and favors for everyone.
Gather your friends, the more the merrier...and tell everyone to bring 2 or 3 wrapped ornaments. The ornaments don't have to be new or fancy by any means. This keepsake will really bring home the old saying, "it's the thought that counts". You can also bake some cookies, making sure to choose a soft cookie like sugar cookies or snicker-doodles. Omit anything with chips or nuts as they may be hard for some people to chew. Have everyone dress up in festive colors and encourage Santa hats if people have them. You can even run to a local arts and crafts store like Michaels to purchase some inexpensive hats to share with your friends.
My grammar school teacher always brought a portable music player so that we could play holiday music during our grand entrance and visit. If someone has a very well behaved dog, many homes welcome fury friends. Many elderly people have lost a pet with their transition into the home and welcome a lick or two on the face. Don't forget to ask the manager of the home if this extra friend is welcome.
Ask around to find out if any of your friends have a polaroid camera. It's great fun to capture the smiles of all your new friends and even better when you can leave the picture with them. Many of the people you meet that day will treasure the ornament and photo for years to come.
Last but not least give out hugs. It's amazing what a warm embrace will do to someone who is feeling down or lonely. The Holidays are a time for smiles so get a group together and start spreading em'