By Rick Banas of Gardant Management Solutions

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 Meghann Giarraputo, memory care director, 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:

Mart, an 83-year-old resident of Prairie Winds affordable assisted living in Urbana, Illinois
My favorite tradition was traveling back home with my sister, Joy, to see my parents.

Elaine, a 65 year-old resident of GateWay at River City affordable assisted living for adults with physical disabilities in Peoria, Illinois
When I opened all my Christmas gifts when I wasn’t supposed to and I re-taped them.

Daryl, a resident of our Grand Prairie community in Macomb, Ill., recalled the time her sister wouldn’t tell her parents what she wanted for Christmas and ended up with a bag of rocks.

Daryl, a 70-year-old resident of Grand Prairie affordable assisted living in Macomb, Illinois
One Christmas, my parents asked us what we wanted. My younger sister wouldn’t say. So when Christmas morning came, we opened presents. Hers was a box of rocks. She had to wait until after lunch to open her real present.

Vianne, a resident of the Heritage Woods affordable assisted living community in Watseka, Illinois
On Christmas day, all my family was present, and we always made a huge Christmas dinner, ate and played games around the table.  Took a nap and then got to open presents.

Veda, a resident of Summers Pointe assisted living in Winchester, Indiana
We always had a big meal for Christmas. I especially loved making the desserts. There was always more to choose from than the side dishes.

Joan, a resident from Heritage Woods of Yorkville, recalled staying up late on Christmas Eve to decorate the tree and wrap presents for her children.

Joan, a resident of Heritage Woods affordable assisted living in Yorkville, Illinois
When our kids were little, our tradition was for me and my husband to stay up late after the kids went to bed on Christmas Eve and decorate the tree and get the presents under the tree. In the morning, seeing the excitement on their faces was priceless. As they got older, we would trim the tree together.

Helen, a Heritage Woods of Rockford resident, remembers looking forward to seeing the beautifully wrapped presents and perfect Christmas decorations her Mother put together each year.

Helen, an 82-year-old resident of Heritage Woods affordable assisted living in Rockford, Illinois
When I was a child, my Mother would meticulously wrap each present and decorate the tree. It was done beautifully. The kids were not allowed to help or touch because everything had to be done in perfect order. It was something we looked forward to every year.

Lynnett, a 74-year-old resident of John Evans affordable assisted living in Pekin, Illinois
Sharing time with family, gifts, goodies and music.

Sharon, a 69-year-old resident of Prairie Winds of Urbana
My favorite Christmas tradition was the big family dinner on Christmas Day.

Gertrude, a 67-year-old resident of Heritage Woods of Chicago affordable assisted living
Receiving gifts that truly came from the heart.

Denise, a 66-year-young resident of Hellenic affordable assisted living on Shelby Street in Indianapolis
One thing in particular stands out for me and my children is during the time I worked for the sheriff’s department. We adopted a family for Christmas. This was a single family household with two children and a sickly mother. I remember telling my children that we were going to buy Christmas gifts for some children less fortunate than us. My children were so excited to do this. We delivered toys and some clothing to the family. This made my children so happy. To this day my children speak about that day and say it is one of their fondest memories around the holidays.

Barbara, a resident of Cambridge House affordable assisted living in Maryville, Illinois
My nephew passed away this year, so it will be a sad Christmas for my family. But I remember when he was only about eight years old. We wrapped his present in a real big box. Everyone kept whispering that it was a doll in the box, just loud enough so he could hear them. He didn’t want to open the present because he thought we were tricking him, which we were. The trick was that we put a ball and bat in the box. He grew up to be a police officer. We are going to miss him.

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