As The Wesley Communities celebrate 50 years of excellent service, our CEO Peg Carmany offers “Peg’s Perspective” on a variety of topics affecting seniors and their adult children as they plan and choose to age well – 50 tips to celebrate 50 years!
Tip #21 of 50 – Holiday Memories and Traditions
I have some very powerful memories of the holidays as a child, and I bet you do, too. At our house, we were living in Southern California (no snow!) and my dad was the pastor of Fontana Community Church. So for us, Christmas always meant church, church, and then, more church. My brothers and my mother and I always played multiple roles – taking the offering, singing in the choir, doing the readings that accompanied the Advent Candle lighting, etc. There was a life-sized Nativity that was set up every year (we helped), and sometimes, it was even supplemented with live animals (again, we helped).
In my family, the watchword for the holidays was never “presents,” although my brothers and I did look with some longing at the total “haul” that other kids made. Instead, it was the very simple and very powerful message of love, year after year.
Sometimes, now, when I find myself getting caught up in the shopping, and the buying, and the planning, and the (more) buying . . . I think back to those days. I had a very happy childhood, “haul” or not.
So, do you have holiday traditions that go along with your memories? And are you worried that moving to a retirement community might mean giving them up? Let me assure you, a move into independent living allows you to bring your holiday favorites, and our communities of course allow for most of your traditions to continue, although we really tend to discourage folks from getting on the roof to hang lights! Our communities are beautifully decorated, special meals are prepared, and we celebrate the holidays for all. Retirement community living adds, it does not detract.