Several years ago, my friends and I decided to stop buying Christmas for each other and instead adopt a needy family for Christmas. We all have everything we need and it really became a chore to try and find stuff that any of us needed or wanted. In our new tradition, we had so much fun buying for each of the family members and dropping all the goodies off at their home right before Christmas. During this time, we had to put my Grandfather in a Nursing Home. I was horrified to hear from them that close of 50% of their residents did not even get a visit from a family member on Christmas (let alone a gift). We, as a group decided to turn our efforts and money toward these wonderful and neglected seniors. For the last 5 years, we have loaded up my parents RV and headed to Oklahoma to spread Christmas Cheer at this Nursing Home. My Grandfather is gone now, but we still feel drawn to this cause and to make these folks feel loved at least during the Christmas season. We bring them each a stocking filled with small Christmas trinkets. They each get a Santa hat and bell necklace. The ones that are able come to the dining room where we pass out song books and sing Christmas Carols. We then stroll through the hallways singing softly and delivering gifts to those who are bedridden. The sparkle and smiles on their faces is truly enough to make even the Grinch feel warm. My new friend (pictured above) that I named Ms. Pink...sat at a table by herself. When I joined her while singing Christmas Carols....She smiled and answered all of my questions with a very polite "Yes". When I asked her if we sang bad, she smiled and said "Yes" once again! I did not take offense as she answered everything "Yes". When we started walking down the halls, she followed us and tried to act like she was busy and not following us....straightening pictures or wiping off the railings on the wall. When one of our group asked her if she liked our singing, she smiled a sly grin this time and said "No"! We all chuckled and although she claimed not to like the singing, she strolled down each hall with us. She was a doll! I did watch her later steeling stuff from the maid's cart and then rushing to her room! We also visited a 92 year old lady who requested Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. About half way through the song, she came out of her room and started dancing in the hall. It was so wonderful to see such life and fun in this 92 year old woman. She told us it was the most beautiful Christmas song she had ever heard.
I could go on and on about each one of these amazing and loving Seniors...but I will spare you all. I know during the Christmas Season we are very focused on kids (as it should be)....but don't forget the neglected Seniors. I promise it will make your heart grow three sizes!