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Home > Blogs > Insights > Denise's Blog > When It’s Just You and Your Caree, How Do You Celebrate a Holiday?

When It’s Just You and Your Caree, How Do You Celebrate a Holiday?

Tammy, one of our Facebook fans, posed a question on our page:

As usual, no one will be up for Thanksgiving. Any ideas on how to make it seem like an actual holiday for my folks? It’s the same with Christmas, Easter, Fourth of July.

What do you suggest? When it’s just you and your caree, how do you celebrate a holiday so it feels like a holiday? Please share your thoughts and suggestions in our comments section, below.

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About Denise Brown

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I began working with family caregivers in 1990 and launched CareGiving.com in 1996 to help and support them. Through my blog, I share words of comfort and offer coping strategies and tips. I also write opinion pieces about recent research, community programs and media coverage of caregiving issues.

7 comments

  1. If possible, invite friends, neighbors or other people who have no place to go to join you for the holiday. You can make it a potluck event. You could host an open house in advance of the holiday and have people come over then.

  2. Even though no one else will be there for dinner, make it special by using the “good” china/tableware. Use a tablecloth and candles (if possible) and make the house look festive with decorations, etc. For Thanksgiving, Tammy could even make traditional food (which may be too much work, depending on her situation). Even if her parents can’t eat it, the house would smell different than normal. It doesn’t have to be a lot of extra work but just having a meal and decor a little different than normal will make the day seem special. Please wish Tammy a Happy Thanksgiving for me!

  3. I agree with all above. Even a chocolate turkey or turkey soup while talking turkey stories will make the day out of the ordinary. This is a great day to use an old favorite glass, bowl or spoon.

  4. Avatar of Denise

    Hi–One other thought: Take pictures and a video of the day. We never know how many holidays we have left together. Knowing that and capturing the day in a way that lasts forever reminds that each holiday we have is special.

  5. One other tradition my family has (and it can work with 2 people or 40), is use a white sheet or tablecloth for the table and leave colored permanent markers around the table. People can draw or write (or we’ve even played tic-tac-toe!) on the tablecloth. I have several from year’s past and set them out during the holiday. It’s fun to do and fun to go back to see the pictures or what people wrote. It might be fun for Tammy to do this with her parents.

  6. I am not sure how to handle Thanksgiving this year. Mom hasn’t wanted to do much lately since she hasn’t been feeling good and is in the nursing home or now should I say the hospital which I hope she will be released soon. How do I handle this? My boyfriend and I are waiting to see if she feels better that day to take her out but if not, do we go there in the morning and then go out after?

    • Meryl, With everything going on with your mom, it sounds like you may have to play it by ear. It’s pretty early in the month so waiting until it gets closer to see how she’s feeling seems like a good plan. It’s great that you and your boyfriend can be so flexible. How do you feel about seeing her in the morning and then going out afterwards? Are you feeling a bit of guilt if you go out without her? It seems seeing her on Thanksgiving, if she’s not well enough to go out, would be a very nice thing to do. There’s no reason to feel guilty about going out afterwards. Keep us posted on your plans and hang in there. It’s so difficult when things are up in the air.

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