Skip to main content

Holiday Decorations


Have you eaten your Wheaties? Are you ready for the holiday season? I've been out shopping and getting ready to decorate our community for Christmas and Hanukkah. I will have the day off after Thanksgiving, so I will start on Monday.

I was wondering if you, as the activities director of your community, are the responsible person for the decorations. Do you have volunteers, staff members, residents, or an outside company help you?  In my retirement community, the maintenance department does all of our outside lights and they help me get the artificial trees up. This year we will be buying a live tree for our lobby, since it is newly renovated and we thought that it would be a nice change.

I do have managers that like to help also, so they help me decorate the trees. We have a tree in the lobby, as I mentioned, plus one in our casual dining area, one in the auditorium, and one in the main dining room. We also have a card tree where residents tie on their greeting card for the community to see. It makes a pretty tree. I simply put the tree out with lights on it, and then place a hole puncher and sleigh full of pre-cut red ribbons for them to use next to the tree.

Then, of course there are the decorations that jazz up the lobby and auditorium. Those are the special items that I think really make the community feel special and ties the trees into the room. The special Santa that they see each year, the nutcrackers, etc. etc. that set the scene for the room. I enjoy decorating the community more than I do my home these days. Or maybe it is that by the time I've finished at work, I don't have much energy left for home. I'm not sure, but I do know that this is the busiest and greats time of the year.

I hope that you enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday and that you will enjoy the crazy-ness of the next few weeks as activities director! Take a deep breath and GO GET IT DONE!

Popular posts from this blog

4 Pictures 1 Word Game for the Big Screen

Many of you who have played 4 Pictures 1 Word, know that this brain game is available as an app for your computer, tablet or phone for free. That is great, bu it does not allow a team to play and is not audience friendly if you wanted to present it at your retirement community (or other social gathering). 
After some time and effort, I made a 4 Pictures and 1 Word game  slide show that you can use in your community. I did use the app for suggestions and the Internet for the pictures. I am glad to share this with you so that you will not have to spend the hours that I did in creating this game. If you get the urge to make one also, please come back to this blog page and share it.  I played this last week with a group of about 25 independent living residents.We did not get through all of the slides due to time constraints..... but I was glad I did not run out of slides in my hour that I had their attention. I will be playing this with them again... and would love to have other slides t…

Play Music More Often

"Music is the soundtrack of your life," said Dick Clark. When you hear a song, if you are like me, it takes you back to that time in your life when you heard the song for the first time or to the occasion where you heard it. That is powerful. Can you imagine the music that our residents have heard in their lifetime? Just like the world in general, they have experienced so much and it is nice when we, as activities professionals, can take them back to the happier days, with the soundtracks from their lives.
So, the question I pose to you today is how do you find and present music to your residents? Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is by way of hired professional performers. That is a given in our jobs, so in this post, I'd like to focus on a few other ways that you can bring music to your residents that they will recognize and enjoy, along with theme music for your special events.

Pandora, Amazon, (search MP3 Download then search free songs) and YouTube are pla…

Brain Games

Recently we hosted our senior Olympics program. This year we added a new event called Brain Games. I found a really good link for brain games that you should look at to understand the definition.
After looking at that link and reading through some other online material, I realized that there is a difference between training your brain and brain games. Be mindful (pun intended) that you are not qualified to train resident's brains unless you have gone to training for it. We, as activities professionals however, are very capable of playing brain games with those who are interested in our communities.
Recently, I introduced Scattergories, Apples to Apples,Wii Jeopardy,Wii Wheel of Fortune and a Name that Tune type of game.  They are fun games that required your brain, so I thought that they were Brain Games. This last game, Name that Tune, I created on my own since I could not find anything that would have been appropriate for this generation to identify with. I downloaded music from t…