Around here, we don’t really need much of an excuse to celebrate. But when Halloween arrives, we jump onto the holiday fast track, and embrace every opportunity we can to enjoy the season. Hardly a day goes by without a party, road trip, event or meal that brings us all together – and gives us an opportunity to share in – and express – our gratitude for all the good in our lives.
Over the coming weeks, housemates will have the opportunity to take part in as many Mooring holiday traditions as they choose. We do a lot together, and our care partners’ ability to cheerfully, professionally and efficiently transition housemates from one activity or location to another is nothing short of incredible. in the coming days, they’ll be overseeing the following holiday celebrations – and many more that either didn’t make this list, or haven’t yet found a home on the calendar:
- Twelve Days of Holiday. This uniquely Mooring celebration is a biggie, and one that’s earned its place as an annual favorite. Each year, during the weeks that follow Thanksgiving, we choose a day for each of our housemates to relive and share his or her favorite holiday tradition. In past years, housemates have curated their favorite menus, sung their favorite carols, shared gifts, and much more. And for each of those twelve days, we celebrate each other together – breathing new life into each housemate’s longstanding traditions.
- Thankful Tree. Each holiday season, we invite our housemates to open up in real, raw conversations – and we ask them to tell us what makes them feel grateful. It’s a wonderfully rewarding endeavor that helps us all to connect. We capture those recollections of gratitude on paper, and add them to our “Thankful Tree,” where housemates, care partners and guests can read up – and revel in shared magic.
- Holiday Drive. Every year, we look for a way to share our good fortune with the less fortunate in our community. Often, like this year, those efforts are spearheaded by housemates. Our plans for this year are still taking shape, but our housemates are scheming to connect with local seniors who are confined to their homes during the holidays to share companionship, cheer, support and essentials.
- Casserole Party. Essentially a holiday potluck extravaganza, this annual event brings friends and family to The Mooring to share their favorite holiday recipes – and those of our housemates and care partners.
- Veteran’s Day Luncheon. This annual gathering allows us to thank the veterans among us, including housemates and their families, and care partners – and to acknowledge their selfless contributions to our safety and wellbeing. Our luncheon culminates with a brief ceremony, and includes a commemorative card and American flag ornament to thank each and every veteran in attendance for his or her service.
- Thanksgiving Day. There are some holidays we like so well we celebrate them more than once. Thanksgiving is on that list. Each year, our first Thanksgiving celebration comes early, bringing housemates, families, friends and care partners together for a feast worthy of, well, Thanksgiving. Then, on Thanksgiving day, while many housemates are taking part in offsite family traditions, we host our second Thanksgiving feast – with all the trimmings, the shared preparations, the aromas and the satisfied smiles that make the day special.
- Portland Tree Lighting Ceremony. Weather permitting, we find there’s nothing like a big Christmas tree lighting ceremony to get everyone in the holiday mood. And because this is The Mooring, there’s usually food involved.
- Community Christmas Party. This year, our Mooring community Christmas Party will involve holiday pajamas, waffles and a marathon of our housemates’ favorite classic holiday movies.
…And that’s just scratching the surface. Our care partner team operates in perpetual planning mode, adding to and adjusting the calendar as new opportunities arise and priorities shift. We also take care to ensure that everything we do can include everyone who wants to be involved. Sometimes, that might mean modified transportation, a special menu, or an extra hand or two to make sure we’re celebrating like the home and the community we are.
In addition to the activities we plan, our housemates’ personal schedules often pull them to events with family and friends – ranging from their grandchildren’s holiday concerts and plays to parties and traditional get-togethers.
Suffice to say, dementia doesn’t deprive our housemates from their love of connection, celebration, and, well, love. And that passion just happens to dovetail with our own. So keep your eyes open. There’s a good chance you’ll see us making the rounds this holiday season, dashing through the snow, and making spirits bright.