Janice and Bill have just moved into their new apartment in a newly built Senior Living Community. They are thrilled, knowing they have time to enjoy the freedom of their new life. It was a lot of work getting there but now that it is behind them, and they are ready to enjoy the holidays ahead without the responsibility of hosting it. Downsizing was the best thing they could have done for themselves. They did this at their son’s urging and a recommendation from their daughter in law to work with a care manager. The care manager was a lifesaver. She helped organize the plan to downsize and move. She knew a trustworthy estate manager and a move management company who helped Janice and Bill make decisions about their belongings and make sure that the antiques and special pieces of furniture were distributed to the kids who wanted them or professionally sold for their proper value. The care manager helped them find the best community that would help them stay together even if one of them had more care needs than the other. Janice and Bill have a great relationship with their care manager and plan to keep it that way as life progresses.

Thomas, their eldest child, was feeling a little pressure. His family was going to be picking up the responsibility of hosting the holidays and carrying on the traditions that everyone expects. Thomas’ children are young adults and will be building new traditions as they marry and have children. In Janice and Bills opinion there was no time like the present for Thomas and his wife to step up.

Bill and Janice are still in good health and were able to host the family with ease. Janice has always provided traditional meals, Santa for the kids, and perfect gifts for all. Wanting everything to be perfect. She just made it all look so easy. Thomas worried he wouldn’t be able to keep up with the spread that Janice and Bill put on, so he and his wife spent some afternoons with them learning more about what they could do to honor the traditions that had been created. They also realized that they would need to start creating new traditions as their children married and started their own families.

Thomas was also aware that the community that his parents were living in had great programs and activities planned especially for the upcoming holidays and wanted to ensure his parents could take part in them as they settled into their new home.

Thinking the two most important things to consider were timing and expectations, Thomas and his wife made sure to find out which dates would be best for Bill and Janice, so they didn’t miss out on what was happening in their new community. Then, the question of what traditions meant the most to them when they were hosting because they really wanted honor them and continue it as they took on these new responsibilities.

The talks were very productive, Thomas learned that his expectations were much higher than his parents. They were appreciative of the considerations that Thomas and his family were willing to make on their behalf. Janice and Bill admitted they would miss how the holiday was celebrated in the past but are looking forward to what is to come.

When everyone arrived at Thomas’s family home, Christmas music in the background, the smells of favorite holiday foods coming from the kitchen, they commented on what a great job Thomas and his wife had done. After a delicious meal and a round of opening presents Thomas announced it was time to take a walk and do some caroling. It was to become a new tradition, that they could enjoy as a family for years to come.

As the years passed Bill and Janice enjoyed the holiday celebrations and that they had less work to do to prepare. Eventually, as aging increased, they found it more difficult to go to Thomas’ home. Thomas and his family, which was growing, found that they so enjoyed their caroling, and had become pretty good at it so they arranged to visit his parents Senior Living Community and share their tradition with his parents as well as all the residents each Christmas Eve. It was a highlight for everyone!

As we age things change and the change can be difficult but having a flexible plan and understanding the needs of each other, the holidays can continue to be a joyous time. Reach out to us by phone at (203) 258-2640 or email us at info@growingoptions.com to find out how we can help you and your family navigate the holiday season.