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From the Community Press

Celebrating the Holidays

It’s a special time of year. The magic of Christmas comes to us each year, right here in Albuquerque New Mexico. Whether you are able to visit with family and friends this holiday season, or if you have decided to stay home, it’s the time to be merry and celebrate to the full. Put on some holiday music, drink some winter punch and pull out the Christmas classics from the movie pile.

Community. Here at La Vida Llena, you can mingle with neighbors who may already be your best friends. It’s a protected community with health precautions in place which allow you to connect with other seniors in the same environment according to current recommended health guidelines. You don’t need to feel isolated this year. Invite some neighbors and experience some holiday warmth together! Retirement in a community of others in the same stage of life as yourself has some unique benefits. Your neighbors can be your best friends! Here are some ideas to help you celebrate and feel the magic right here in your home.

Holiday decorations. Even if you won’t be inviting a lot of family over this year, take some time to bring the holiday magic into your home. Just some small decorations that are meaningful can go a long way. If you always put up a specific tree topper, you could consider skipping the tree and put it out with a few other small decorations to make Christmas feel special. An evergreen branch decorated with a few bulbs, a candle, a seasonal tablecloth, or that nativity scene you always put out for the kids. It’s all worth just a little effort to make your home warm and get into the Christmas spirit!

Good Food

It’s the time to celebrate. If you have a favorite seasonal recipe, consider getting in the kitchen and doubling the recipe to share with neighbors. You’ll share the love and warmth the season brings with others, as well as enjoying some good food yourself. You can also try something simple such as serving a tasty eggnog or other holiday drink if you feel like something simpler. Retirement gives seniors the time to relax and enjoy activities at your own pace.

Holiday activities. It’s fun to plan at least one seasonal activity. Or perhaps even one every week! If you are fortunately enough to live in a retirement community, check out events your community may have on the schedule. Life Care communities offer opportunities for all residents, whether you are in independent living, assisted living, nursing care or in a Memory Care program. There is something for everyone! You can also get together with friends and plan events yourself. You might decide to participate in an outing to do some Christmas shopping together, watch a favorite movie, or share some good food as you discuss your plans for the New Year!

Staying healthy. Be sure to step outside and feel the brisk winter air while staying bundled up and warm! Taking short walks and breathing in the fresh mountain air here in the high desert is refreshing and inspiring. You might even meet a neighbor as you are out and about. It’s important for seniors to stay up to date on recommended vaccines and keep informed about any current health recommendations from the CDC or state health department. Ask your doctor about how you can best protect yourself and stay healthy this holiday season.

Family. It’s important to stay connected with family members who you will not be able to see this year. Distance doesn’t need to be an issue for seniors. Make those phone calls, try video visits on your iPad or laptop and watch for all the fun holiday updates and pictures on Facebook right here in your retirement home. Sending old fashioned Christmas cards or some small gifts can also bring some joy to others and help you feel connected with loved ones.

Make this year your best yet. Traditionally, the Christmas season extends all the way from Christmas Day until Epiphany, which is January 6th – the 12 days of Christmas. So, keep celebrating and spreading the good cheer!

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