We had the annual Christmas party at the nursing home where my mom stays on Sunday. They told me to prepare to be really impressed…but I had no idea. The activity room was covered in garland and lights. There were two huge Christmas trees fully decorated. Everyone was in Santa hats and festive outfits.
There was bluegrass group singing songs while families danced with their loved ones..old folks hopping and wheelchairs swinging with everyone clapping and singing. There was a big holiday cookie spread to choose from. And after the band finished a group of volunteers did a Christmas carrol sing-a-long. I met so many people who in the last few months, when they would show up to see their family members, were greeted by my mom, and so had gotten to know her. The whole place was so alive and full of joy.
Unfortunately mom was starting to get sick from a sinus infection. She did a great job of rallying for the party, and even managed to greet Santa with a smile. However, when Santa left, and the party was over, it was all we could do to keep mom awake to open her presents.
Oh, I almost forgot about the presents, and it was maybe the most amazing part. We had brought a new coat, scarf and gloves for Santa to deliver to mom during the party. When he came to her room he had a huge bag with 5 times that many presents. It seems in addition to the presents families give for Santa, the staff draws names and does a secret Santa for each resident, and local churches and other groups donate gifts as well. They distrubute all these gifts among the residents so everyone has a huge bag of presents when Santa comes to visit. In the end, my mom made out, hauling in about 15 great cards and gifts! It was so sweet. And fun for us because almost everything was a surprise.
Here’s mom powering through unwrapping the gifts (when all she really wants to do is nap)…