Adjust your expectations
Firstly, it is imperative that you adjust your expectations for this upcoming holiday season by preparing for the idea that you might be spending the holidays away from loved ones. Instead, think about possibly having small family gatherings, that way you can avoid disappointment!
Christmas is usually a very busy time for many people. This year, the lack of festivities gives us time to refocus on what's important and to reconnect with loved ones. Take this opportunity to channel all of your time and energy towards yourself and your loved ones.
For caregivers, now would be a good time to take more time for yourself and surround yourself with things that make you feel good. Take advantage of this time by cooking yourself a good meal, reading a book, listening to music, watching television, decorating your house, admiring photos or artwork from Christmas festivities, going cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or walking in the great outdoors. Otherwise, simply take a moment to assess your year, reflect and enjoy the silence.
Get creative and reinvent the holidays
As the pandemic requires us to look forward to more intimate gatherings, small and meaningful acts will replace large gatherings to radiate the magic of Christmas. It could be fun to reinvent old traditions or even create new ones. If your loved one lives in a CHSLD or a private residence, here are some suggestions (in French) from our general coordinator Julie Bickerstaff, to have a comfortable holiday while showing them your affection:
- Record a Christmas carol as a family and play it back to your loved one;
- Prepare a traditional holiday dish and share it with the family;
- Look through old holiday photo albums to help revive some positive memories;
- Ask all family members to send your loved one a card that recounts a nice moment that they shared with them;
- Organize a virtual visit with other family members.
These suggestions could also be adapted to your loved one's situation:
- If they live do not live in a CHSLD or private residence, organize a traditional Christmas dinner and ask family members to dress up for the occasion;
- Watch a good movie;
- Play traditional holiday music;
- Participate in a family escape game on the internet;
- Create a Christmas playlist on Spotify to share with family members;
- Read a digital Christmas story aloud to reunite younger and older folks;
- Play board games with your family, like the 7 families card game (in French only). A game that showcases the diversity of caregivers, made by l'Appui in partnership with Michel Rabagliati;
- Thanks to technology, you can host virtual meetings with your loved ones. Whether it's on Zoom, or the video conferencing tool of your choice, it's possible to organize a DIY night or a kid's dance competition. Share your most precious memories or riddles with the whole family and you can even watch your loved ones unwrap their gifts by projecting the meeting on your TV.
You are not alone
Don't forget, Caregiver Support is here to help, guide and listen, even during end-of-year holiday celebrations. You can reach us by phone, at 1 855 852-7784, or by email.