Sparking New Holiday Traditions at Five Star Senior Living

Nov 23, 2021
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Sparking New Holiday Traditions

Treasure hunts? Indoor snowball fights? At Five Star Senior Living, new traditions make the holidays the most wonderful time of the year.

From waking up early to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to staying up late on Christmas Eve baking cookies for Santa, holiday traditions are special times for celebrating and reconnecting with loved ones. As we age, though, it can be more difficult to manage the heavy load of hosting holiday traditions you’ve carried on for decades. Passing the torch to the next generation is bittersweet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still experience the joy of taking part in holiday traditions, old and new, at a senior living community.

Though some holiday traditions—like Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas carols—have remained constant, many others evolved over time, sometimes sparking new traditions entirely like Secret Santa gift exchanges and adding your voice to an acapella recording of “Deck the Halls.” These new holiday traditions, though unfamiliar at first, can spark renewed feelings of comfort and joy during the holiday season and soon become beloved rituals you look forward to year after year. Here are four unique holiday traditions celebrated in some of our Five Star Senior Living communities that residents have embraced over the years.

The Remington Club – Gold Coin Treasure Hunt

When a new Thanksgiving activity becomes so popular that residents request that it returns for Christmas, you know you’ve struck gold on a new holiday tradition. The Remington Club Lifestyle 360 Director John Cedres says the Gold Coin Treasure Hunt started to give residents staying in the senior living community for Thanksgiving a fun incentive to go outside and be active. For the treasure hunt, clues are hidden throughout Remington Club’s gorgeous community of palm trees, pools and mountain views, the last clue of which leads to a gold coin.

For residents who completed The Remington Club’s “Know Your Phone” technology class, there are also several bonus clues incorporating QR codes. Residents who find the gold coin can then take it to the treasure chest for a gift which Cedres tries to customize for each resident. He says the hunt, which started just last year, has been such a huge hit that he plans on making it a new tradition for other holidays, too. “It’s music to my ears when people ask about traditions and anticipate them,” he says.

Pueblo Norte Senior Living – Thanksgiving in the Desert

While many families gather inside around the dining table for Thanksgiving, at Pueblo Norte Senior Living, the setting is as breathtaking as it gets. For 29 years, Pueblo Norte team members have helped transport senior living residents and cooked turkey into the desert a week before Thanksgiving for a meal with a spectacular backdrop: the rugged and beautiful White Tank Mountains. This year, 40 residents attended and enjoyed a fantastic feast and amazing views all while seated next to neighbors and team members-turned-family. “I've done this before and I love it because we're outdoors, there's no wind, there's sunshine and there's wonderful people,” says resident Carol Galts.

Watch the video below for some of the highlights:

The Horizon Club – Holiday Choir Concert

The holiday choir concert is one of the most asked about events at The Horizon Club, even more so since it was cancelled last year due to the pandemic. Thanks to an ingenious plan to hang up lights in the courtyard and move the concert outdoors, though, this year the holiday choir show will go on! The about 20-person choir was started by residents several years ago and puts on shows year-round from Broadway showtunes to a patriotic program on the Fourth of July. The choir is open to all, regardless of disabilities or level of care. The holiday concert in particular is a tradition beloved by the community and spreads good cheer for all to hear that lingers in the hearts of residents long after the last song.

“The concert is something residents really look forward to year after year, and we have a healthy community when we have that,” says Marty Beth Rutenis, Executive Director of The Horizon Club.

Northwood Manor – Indoor Snowball Fight

Turns out you don’t need real snow to have a “snowball” fight, just imagination, lots of paper and a group of residents ready to have fun and let loose. That’s the idea behind Northwood Manor’s annual indoor snowball fight, a new holiday tradition created by executive director John Clark. Clark says the snowball fight always leads to a roomful of laughter and childhood memories bringing smiles to residents’ faces. All it takes is a bunch of crinkled up white paper to look like snowballs and getting residents seated in a circle before the “fight” begins. No holding back here. Clark says residents have a blast tossing the paper snowballs at anybody and everybody, including him. The snowball fight may be a simple and short activity on the holiday calendar, but Clark says seeing the joy in his residents’ faces as they embrace an entirely new holiday tradition is what makes it so special.

“Our residents come with different traditions and experiences in life, and this is a new beginning and opportunity,” he says. “That’s why we strive to keep the Christmas spirit alive with new traditions and fun things to do.”

The More the Merrier: Come Celebrate New Holiday Traditions with Us

Pumpkin carving, decking the halls, gift exchanges…holiday traditions old and new await you at Five Star, and all are welcome to join in the fun. See if there’s a Five Star Senior Living community near you and schedule a tour to discover which new traditions you can start looking forward to. From our Five Star family to yours, we wish you a warm, safe, and happy holiday season!

Give us a call: (833) 457-8271