Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Joy in Being Santa

It’s the holiday season and Christmas is right around the corner. The stores are filled with people hustling and bustling, looking for that perfect gift for a special someone. It’s an overwhelming time of year, but the beauty of twinkling lights and festive spirit is captivating and brings joy to many.

My Grandmother is the hallmark of Christmas for me every year. She shops for all 23 people in my family and makes Christmas dinner. We do extend our services to bring desserts and side dishes, but every year, she and my grandfather are on the ball. It’s wonderful to see them both in the holiday spirit.

But sometimes, it isn’t this easy for all aging adults to enjoy the holidays, especially those who are in nursing facilities. That’s why there are programs like the one offered by Home Instead Senior Care called Be a Santa to a Senior. Each year, Home Instead spreads holiday cheer to lonely or financially challenged seniors through the Be a Santa program. According to their website, “the program has attracted upwards of 60,000 volunteers over the past six years distributing gifts to deserving seniors.  Since introducing the Be a Santa to a Senior program, Home Instead Senior Care has helped provide 1.2 million gifts to more than 700,000 seniors.”

Or you could try The Children of Christmas Past, an organization in Burlington, ON that started in 1999 by Jill Harrington. Each year, guests of their Annual Christmas Open House bring a gift for a senior and the charity then hand-delivers the gifts Christmas morning. If you would like to learn more, you can watch them on Aging in Peel next week on Rogers Cable 10.

It’s a wonderful thought that spreads warmth across the nation. And what’s even more invigorating is the idea that anyone can participate to help someone have a memorable Christmas. Nobody should be alone during the holidays, but one small act of kindness can change how people view the world, and sometimes, that can be the greatest gift of all.

Happy Holidays everyone!

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