December 31

Residents Share Favorite Holiday Memories – Chapter Six

The focus of our blogs during this holiday season are on the favorite holiday memories and traditions of residents of the assisted living and memory care communities Gardant manages.

As Gardant’s Director of Memory Care Meghann Giarraputo noted in a recent blog, asking your older adult loved ones about their favorite memories is one way to make the season more magical. Your loved ones will benefit from your time and attention; you will be filled with a cherished collection of their remembrances.

We highlight the memories and traditions of another twelve residents:

Carol, an 81-year-old resident of Cedar Grove assisted living in Parkersburg, West Virginia
Opening Christmas presents Christmas morning.

Clara, a 91-year-old resident of John Evans affordable assisted living in Pekin, Illinois
Getting to be together with the whole family.

Jenseen, a resident at our Decatur community, recalled gathering around her Mother’s bed on Christmas Eve, praying for gifts her family couldn’t afford. But one year, she remembered receiving the gift she’d wished for the night before.

Jenseen, a resident of Eagle Ridge affordable assisted living in Decatur, Illinois
My favorite holiday memory was on Christmas Eve. We would all gather around my Mother’s bed and say a beautiful prayer to ask for things we knew we were never going to receive. But one year, I received what I asked for. It was my favorite doll, clothes for her, and a beautiful pink crib for the doll. And then, we would go to church Christmas morning.

Linda, a 74-year-old resident of St. Anthony affordable assisted living in Lansing, Illinois
My most memorable time during the holidays was spending time with my grandsons when they would come over to put up my Christmas tree and help decorate it. After that was accomplished, we all sat down to plenty of snacks and played cards for hours.

Nancy, a 76-year-old resident of Heritage Woods affordable assisted living in Freeport, Illinois
I remember wanting a bicycle for Christmas. We had very little growing up. I’m not sure how they were able to swing it, but I did get a new green bike that year. I also remember not having to do my basement chores as that is where they were hiding the bike.

Sharon, a resident of Heritage Woods affordable assisted living in Benton, Illinois
When I was a child we lived way out in the country. On Christmas Eve, my Dad would load my three brothers, my one sister and me in the car.  Mom would stay home and would tell us she was going to take a nap. We would ride around looking in the sky for Santa and his sleigh. After riding around for a good thirty minutes, we would return home. When we got in the house there was lots of presents under the tree. My Mom would come out to the living room and say that Santa must have come while she was napping.

Ruby, a resident of Heritage Woods affordable assisted living in Watseka, Illinois
My brothers always got the tree from the farm we lived on; some years they looked poorly.  We would string popcorn for decorations.  Mother would make all the decorations from left over materials and foam that was around the house.  There was no way we were allowed to stay up for Santa. Dad would tell us if we got out of bed that Santa would not stop, so I would go to bed for the night and not even dare to get out of bed until the morning sun would come up.

Terri, an 85-year-old resident of Heritage Woods affordable assisted living in Minooka, Illinois
My favorite holiday memory would be when my whole family would come over on Christmas. My uncle would bring this accordion. He would play his Polish music, and we would all sing and dance around our Christmas tree.  Everyone was happy and smiling all day long!

Susie, a resident of Summers Pointe assisted living in Winchester, Indiana
Spending time with my husband. We would always go to my niece’s house and celebrate with her family.

Dixie, a resident of Cambridge House affordable assisted living in O’Fallon, Illinois
I remember that there were so many gifts under the tree. My family was one of those families where there were multiple divorces and re-marriages, so my sister and I had extra grandmas, grandpas, uncles and aunts. When they all came together for the holidays, it was quite a rowdy party with lots of cousins to play with. It was always so much fun.

Fredrick, a 74-year-old resident of Heritage Woods of Chicago affordable assisted living
Being at home with my parents and opening gifts at Christmas.

JoAnne, a 74-year-old resident of Prairie Winds affordable assisted living in Urbana, Illinois
Every Christmas Eve, my Grandma would come to our house and bake cookies and make popcorn balls for the kids. After baking, we would all go to Midnight Mass. My siblings and I each got one gift on Christmas morning.

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