“‘Tis the season to be jolly,” but when you’re caring for a family member or receiving care yourself, this time of year can feel less than merry. While the link between health and happiness is still being studied, we know that positive emotions can help make life longer and healthier, and not to mention, a lot more fun. So even if you’re feeling a bit like Scrooge heading into the season, some good ol’ fashioned holiday cheer might be just what the doctor ordered to lift both your spirits and your loved one’s spirits.
Deck the Halls
By receiving care at home and avoiding having to spend the holidays in a hospital, your loved one is already able to enjoy the familiarity and comfort of their own space. Holiday decorations instantly add some magic to the home – just be sure they don’t get in the way of any medical equipment or pose a possible tripping or fire hazard. Wreath-making is always a fun project, and it’s easy to turn a dated floral wreath into a winter wonderland. This DIY serving tray made from baked peppermints is a sweet and festive way to spread some holiday cheer.
Spending time with friends and family is one of the best parts of the holiday season, so if your loved one is feeling up to it, plan a holiday cookie swap party with their closest pals (just remind all visitors that they should be in good health and mindful of washing their hands whenever they interact with someone with a potentially compromised immune system). These classic crinkle cookies are a guaranteed fan favorite, or spice things up with this recipe for ginger cookie and nutmeg ice cream sandwiches that anyone from the ages of one to 92 are sure to gobble up.
Wrap It Up
If your loved one has some last-minute holiday shopping or wrapping to get done, offer to run those errands with them. Better yet, spend an afternoon making your own wrapping paper together, and personalize it to make gift-giving even more special.
Spread the Holiday Cheer
They say it’s better to give than to receive, so look for volunteer opportunities for your loved one to participate in that don’t require much physical activity or even leaving the house, such as knitting scarves and hats for those in need, or tutoring.
Pop in a Movie
Sometimes, a Christmas flick can be the ultimate pick-me-up. Plan a movie night at home with your family’s favorite holiday classic, complete with hot chocolate and popcorn.
Don’t let the winter blues get you down. As you care for your loved one this holiday season, look for opportunities to create a little magic and joy, and remember that family is the greatest gift of all.