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Making a list—and checking it twice

Now is a good time to sit down with your elder and figure out his or her priorities for the holiday season. Spend some time together making a list and setting dates to get it all done. From parties to presents, the holidays can be stressful—but with the right planning and preparation, it can also be a pleasant time filled with family bonding and fun.

1. Décor Galore. Putting up a tree and sprinkling holiday decorations around the house can create a cheerful environment filled with past holiday memories. This is also a great bonding experience for you and your elder—even better, get your children involved. Make a day out of it: Put on some holiday tunes, light a pinecone-scented candle and whip up a batch of gingerbread cookies.

2. Hitting the mall. You will definitely want to help your elder with shopping—this can be an overwhelming task that requires thoughtful work. Most stores are open additional hours leading up to Christmas, but online shopping is another alternative. It’s a good idea to buy a few extra gifts for anyone you’ve forgotten; CLICK HERE for some gift ideas. Oh, and don’t forget to help your loved one pick out a holiday outfit!

3. Giving back. Participating in a few charity events this month will give your elder a breath of fresh air while also giving back to his or her local community. You never know, you may even make some new friends in the process. Ideas include donating gifts to a local hospital or spending time at a food bank. HERE is a great list of some ideas in the Virginia area. Many of these should be available in your hometown as well.

4. Last-minute delivery. Do you have family members living across the country? Make sure you help your elder finish his or her shopping in time to mail out the gifts. Usually the Monday of the week before Christmas marks the busiest of the year (this year, it falls on Dec. 13), so if you’re looking to beat those crowds you’ll want to hit your local post office before then.

The holidays don’t have to be hectic. Make a list—and stick to it! With extra time off work and school (hopefully), you should be able to get everything done in time for the holidays! 🙂

Do you have an idea or tip that we didn’t include on this list? We want to hear from you. Send your stories to

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