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Making the most of Christmas with your family

18th November 2014

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

Christmas is one of the most celebrated days of the year, and is a time when family and friends get together to enjoy quality time spent with one another.

This can become even more significant for the older generation, who may not get to spend as much time with relatives as they would like, with many wanting to make the most of seeing loved ones at Christmas. Provided below are some handy tips to ensure that the whole family has a Christmas to remember.

Start Christmas shopping early

In order to relieve stress it’s a great idea to be as organised as possible. Create a list of those you wish to buy for, and add to the list every time you purchase a gift. This will help to alleviate any chances of forgetting someone, or buying more gifts than you need to. Start as early as you can in order to give yourself more time to find presents for those who may be more difficult to buy for. This will also give you more time to wrap and post your gifts, although those with arthritis in the hands or similar conditions may wish to ask for help from relations or neighbours.

Gift ideas

Grandchildren and great grandchildren can be difficult to buy for, as the wants of the different age groups can be incredibly diverse. Parents of babies and toddlers will undoubtedly be appreciative of clothing, although you may like to keep the receipts, just in case the items do not fit.

Gift cards are a great option if you feel particularly stuck, as parents can help younger children buy what they need and teenagers can pick for themselves and will be extremely grateful for this. Tins of chocolates are also a greatly received gift and are easy to purchase from many supermarkets and high street stores.

Where to stay

Travelling is a normal part of Christmas for many people, but you must consider what is best for you. Those that rely on mobility aids such as stairlifts may wish to ask for family and friends to visit, although it’s best to make sure that they know whether you’re capable of catering for them or not. It may be easier for you to stay with relatives, but be sure to ask whether they can put you up in appropriate accommodation, such as a downstairs bedroom, to ensure that Christmas is as easy and comfortable as possible for all involved.

Stop your mobility getting in the way

If you do decide to stay with relatives, make sure that you have all the mobility aids that you require, as well as enough medication to last for the festive period. Make sure you adhere to your normal routine as much as possible to maintain your health and comfort, which will ensure you enjoy the day to its full potential and can send time comfortably with the people you love.

Think of ways to have fun

It’s more than likely that you’ll have plenty of entertainment provided by your family and friends on Christmas day, but it’s great to come up with some of your own ideas too. Take along traditional board games, your favourite Christmas films, or even knitting needles so you can share your skills with the grandchildren – they will all appreciate your contributions!

Keep warm

If you are staying with family, make sure to let those you are with know if you are feeling too cold. Try to keep an eye on the temperature; it can be easy to forget when you’re all busy having fun! You may wish to pack extra jumpers and your slippers too, to both keep yourself warm and provide some home comforts. If you’re staying at home, read these tips on how to remain warm during winter, which will help you look after yourself during colder conditions.

Find alternative company

It was recently reported that more than half a million older people will spend Christmas Day alone,

and if you’re worried that this may affect you, there are a number of options you can consider. A number of charities and schemes exist to make sure that the elderly do not feel lonely on the day, and provide events with fellow older people, phone calls from volunteers, as well as a gift service.

Image Credit: Ronnie Gavelin, photosteve101, The Lamb Family, Didriks, Quinn Dombrowski, peddhapati, marktristan, Andrew Bardwell (Flickr.com)

This content was written by Emily Bray. Please feel free to visit my Google + profile to read more stories.