Activities for Seniors: Embracing the Holidays with Loved Ones

activities for seniors

With the changing seasons comes a palpable sense of anticipation and excitement. The world around us transforms with vibrant colors and a refreshing crispness in the air. While each year brings its own unique flavor, there’s an undeniable charm to this season that invites us to revel in the beauty of nature and create heartwarming moments with our cherished seniors. In this article, we will explore a plethora of activities and ideas designed to make the holidays extra special for our seniors. From fostering connections to crafting lasting memories, these activities for seniors during the holidays will infuse joy and warmth into the season.

Safe Ways to Celebrate the Holidays with Activities for Seniors

As the chilly weather sets in and ongoing safety precautions remain, there are still countless ways to connect with our elderly family members during this holiday season. While virtual tools like Zoom and FaceTime continue to be valuable for reducing social isolation and maintaining holiday traditions, let’s inject a creative twist into our seasonal activities. Here are 17 delightful activities for seniors during the holidays to stay connected and safely gather in person:

Write Letters:

 Recall the days when snail mail was the primary mode of communication. Encourage a pen pal program between older relatives and grandchildren as a wonderful way for kids to hone their writing skills and for seniors to share their cherished stories.

Organize a Recipe Swap:

 Spice up your holiday menu by asking friends to send their favorite holiday recipes. Share these culinary treasures within your group and savor conversations about your gastronomic adventures during phone or video chats.

“Window Shop” Together:

 While large indoor gatherings remain a concern, you can transport the tradition of admiring festive window displays to the digital realm with Google Shopping’s “Window Wonderland.” Explore the enchanting storefronts of New York City from the comfort of your home.

Learn About Your Family History:

Unearth your family’s roots using at-home genetic testing kits from companies such as and 23andMe. These results can ignite captivating conversations about your family’s heritage.

Decorate in Unique Ways: 

Infuse your home with holiday cheer through festive decorations, even if you can’t be together in person. Set up a virtual decorating session or, weather permitting, create “decoration stations” outdoors while maintaining social distancing.

Start a Mini Book Club: 

Engage in a socially distanced book club with family and friends. Explore different genres or have grandkids read their favorite holiday books to their senior loved ones.

Host a Virtual Holiday 

Party: Leverage technology like Zoom and Skype to bring friends and family together for a virtual holiday gathering. Plan in advance and consider sending out virtual invitations with recipes for signature cocktails or desserts.

Stay in Touch with Porch Chats:

 Enjoy outdoor conversations with friends and neighbors. Bundle up, grab a hot beverage, and safely swap stories. Strike a balance between tech-based connections, outdoor interactions, and phone chats to prevent screen fatigue.

Organize a Neighborhood Gift Swap:

Share the joy of the season by orchestrating a neighborhood gift exchange. Deliver baked goods, flower arrangements, or personal notes to nearby homes, spreading warmth and cheer.

Host a Movie Night: 

Even if you can’t physically watch a movie together, you can share the experience of a movie night at home. Popcorn, cozy pajamas, and movie streaming apps can create an unforgettable evening.

Take a Virtual Trip Down Memory Lane: 

Utilize Google Earth to “travel” together during these times of social distancing. Explore your loved one’s childhood home and other significant places while reminiscing about cherished memories.

Personalize Projects: 

Order holiday craft kits online and have them delivered to each family member’s home. With the same materials and instructions, you’ll craft unique and creative holiday decorations.

Visit Childhood with Old-Fashioned Treats:

Rediscover nostalgic candies from online retailers and conduct a virtual taste test together. It’s an endearing way to introduce grandkids to the flavors of the past.

Hunt for Heirloom Treasures:

 Dive into the history behind favorite antiques and heirlooms in your loved one’s home during video chats. You might unearth captivating stories behind seemingly ordinary items.

Record an Interview:

Schedule a time for grandparents and grandchildren to chat over the phone, Zoom, or in person. Record these conversations to capture invaluable memories and life lessons for future generations.

Sponsor a Family’s Gifts:

Embrace the spirit of giving by supporting local families through organizations offering Amazon wish lists or online shopping suggestions. Whether it’s toys for children or warm clothing for seniors, your benevolence will make a meaningful impact.


Family Fun at Home for Seniors during the Holidays

For those residing with elderly relatives in your “bubble,” there are plenty of seasonal family activities to relish right at home. Here are some ideas to brighten your days:

Sort Through Keepsakes:

Dust off old yearbooks and family photos tucked away in the attic or garage. Relive cherished memories, share laughter over past trends, and engage in storytelling about your family’s history.

Bake a Tradition:

Uphold the tradition of preparing a family-favorite recipe together. If your aging loved one possesses a treasured recipe, involve the grandkids in transcribing it for a personalized family cookbook.

Drive Through a Lights Display:

Explore local public parks and neighborhoods that go all out with holiday lights. Embark on a leisurely drive through a winter wonderland while tuning in to festive tunes on the radio.

Teach and Learn: 

Foster intergenerational bonding by having aging parents or grandparents teach younger family members skills like knitting, crochet, or needlepoint.

Indoor Gardening: 

Bring the beauty of nature indoors with potted plants and flower arrangements. Consider fresh herb plants for holiday feasts or bulk flowers for distinctive holiday centerpieces.

Friendly Competition:

 Stimulate minds with holiday games for seniors and the entire family. Try trivia, puzzles, and game show-style quizzes. Don’t forget to select holiday-themed games for added festive enjoyment.

As we wholeheartedly embrace the holiday spirit, let’s seize the opportunity to connect with our elderly loved ones and craft treasured memories. By sharing our time, stories, and traditions, we can ensure that this year’s holiday season is brimming with joy, warmth, and love for everyone, notwithstanding the challenges we may face.

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