December 4, 2013


By Dee Deuth

I LOVE CHRISTMAS! It’s my favorite holiday for many reasons. I like the music, the choirs and instruments. I like the trees all decorated in a variety of colors, all bright and sparkling. The baking of cookies and breads (I have a banana bread in the oven as I write!) The aroma is VERY appealing! The comfort food that is produced during the season is my favorite: turkey and dressing, ham, meatballs. And, of course, the parties and happy times together with family and friends create memories that will last a lifetime. And not to forget the REAL meaning of the season. That’s the reason we give gifts to others, as a remembrance of the greatest gift.

But when I pause to think about the happiness this season brings to many of us, I am reminded of the many that are
forgotten in our busyness of the season. My seventeen years of employment in a nursing facility would bring that to mind each year as we prepared for the Christmas season. For many of the residents, the employees were the ones who brought them the season’s cheer. We helped them bake and decorate some cookies as an activity. They watched us trim the Christmas trees, offering their advice of where an ornament should be hung, some even able to hang a few on the tree themselves.

Staff would draw names of residents and purchase a gift to be given at the Christmas Eve Resident Party. We didn’t sign our name on the tag, just signed it “From a Good Friend.” Various church groups and school groups would come to sing, often caroling up and down the halls, bringing cheer and good will to the residents. We would entertain resident families at a family party and if families so chose, they could have Christmas Dinner at the facility with their loved one. Wonderful memories!

This experience year after year made me realize that life is much bigger than myself, that all people are given to each of us to care about and provide a bit of love to them when needed. So at this season of happiness and joy, I hope you will enjoy with me the joy of giving to others. It doesn’t have to be a BIG event. Sometimes the smallest heartfelt gift can make a great impact.

If you have a family member or friend in a nursing facility, please remember to visit them. Take a small gift, and sometimes the best gift you give is your time. Offer to assist them with their Christmas cards or some shopping. Some are past that in life and would just enjoy a visit or a card. Consider what they need and then provide it, wrapped in your love and care.

Other opportunities are abundant to help someone. There are several opportunities to give a small gift to a senior or someone in need. There are “Angel Trees” in churches to provide gifts to children of imprisioned parents. There are Santa Trees for older citizens and of course “Toys For Tots,” The Wounded Warrior Project, The Boys and Girls Clubs, Salvation Army, Child Abuse Council or Bethany Home for Children and Gilda’s Club just to name a few. I have a friend who donates to the Humane Society each Christmas because of her love of dogs. There are friends who have lost a loved one this year who should be remembered at an especially lonely time.

What is my Passion? What is your Passion? Time is passing quickly, and the Christmas Season is short this year. I encourage each of us to make our donation to the person or organization that is depending on us. And in so doing, we will experience the extreme JOY OF GIVING.

All of us at 50+ Lifestyles wish you and your loved ones a JOYOUS HOLIDAY SEASON AND THANK YOU for reading the 50+Lifestyles magazine!

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