Hanukkah, Saturnalia, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, Yule, New Year’s: at this time of year, Christmas isn’t the only celebration on the calendar. For centuries, people of all cultures, countries and religious backgrounds have marked the month of December with a rich variety of festivals, rituals, parties, and gatherings.
Despite their differences, most all of them have one thing in common: food. When attending any kind of social or family event, food is almost always present.
The majority of assisted living and other senior care communities recognize the importance of this tradition of holiday celebrations centered around — or complemented by — food. To that end, they often provide several opportunities for family and friends to dine with residents, or to celebrate the season with a casual party of cookies and cocoa. These special events and meals are especially meaningful to those residents who do not have family or friends in the area.
Though the dining room in assisted living may be rather empty on Christmas Day (some residents leave the community to spend time at a family member’s home), activities and dining staff often collaborate to make the day’s meals a time of celebration and cheer by serving special menu items, playing holiday music and decorating with festive linens, floral arrangements, and more.
Your turn: What does the assisted living community where you or a loved one resides do to make holiday meals special?