6 Senior-Friendly Ways to Celebrate the Holidays When You’re Apart

Put a new spin on old holiday traditions with these ways to stay connected with your senior loved ones during the holidays, even when you can’t be together.

Holiday Traditions on Video

Is it a holiday tradition to open gifts together or light the menorah? Stay connected for all of your holiday celebrations with the wonder of modern technology — that is, a video call. Make sure your loved one has access to a video call with their smartphone, computer or tablet. Then, invite them to join you for holiday traditions.

If your loved one doesn’t have access to video tech, that’s OK too. A simple phone call will let your favorite senior know you love and miss them while making them feel included in holiday traditions.

Deliver Local Goodies

Does your loved one have a favorite food? Is there a local restaurant, bakery or cafe you love to enjoy together? Have a special meal or bundle of treats delivered right to their door. While nothing can replace a homemade meal around the table with family, a surprise delivery can make spending the holidays apart a little better. Plus, you’ll be supporting local businesses!

Check out the delivery options provided by local restaurants, or consider using UberEats, DoorDash or GrubHub to surprise your senior friends and family members with a special holiday meal. You can even plan a video call and eat dinner together.

Have a 12-Day Holiday Countdown

No matter what holiday you celebrate, you can make the magic last longer with a 12-day countdown. Send your loved one a bundle of 12 gifts, one for each day counting down to the holiday. You don’t need to send seven swans a-singing or five golden rings — remember, it’s the thought that counts! You can pick up holiday-themed goodies from the local dollar store or have the grandkids craft some homemade presents. Having a small gift to open each day will give them something fun to look forward to and remind them that you’re thinking of them every day.

Send a Party in a Box

You may be apart, but with a little creativity you can still throw your annual holiday or New Year’s Eve party virtually. First, put together your party in a box — a package of party favors like holiday-themed hats, glasses and treats for each guest. Mail your party packages well ahead so that they arrive in time for the big day. Then, gather together on Skype or Zoom and party hard! Attendees are sure to have a ball with their party packages, and your digital shindig just might be the celebration of the year.

Make Your Own Holiday Cards

If you love to get crafty, this holiday activity is for you. Head over to the crafts store and pick up the supplies to create your very own holiday cards. If you’ve got kids, get them involved too! For an added touch, make your cards personalized with the recipient’s name. Your favorite senior will love the thought and care put into a homemade card just for them.

Plan a Secret Santa by Mail

The only thing more exciting than a gift is a secret! Even if you can’t get together in person, you can still play this favorite holiday gift-giving game through the mail. First, ask your loved ones if they’d like to participate in a Secret Santa exchange. Once you have a list of participants, use an online Secret Santa picker to select names at random (since you can’t draw names in person this year). Then let the festivities begin!

Just make sure to organize your exchange well ahead of time, so that everyone has time to shop and send their packages in the mail. 

For some extra fun, plan to open your Secret Santa gifts over a video call together.

More Senior-Friendly Ways to Stay Connected

Looking for more tips on how to spend time with friends and family you can’t see in person? Catching up on a good show together is a great way to connect. Check out these six senior-friendly shows to watch together, even when you're apart.

Inside Brookdale Communities

See what’s happening on our community Instagram pages

Find a Brookdale Community Near You
Find a Brookdale Community Near You

Let us help find the right community for you!

Complete the form and a Senior Living Advisor will be in touch!
or continue browsing

We value your privacy. By clicking, you agree to the terms and conditions of our privacy policy and agree to be called, in response to your inquiry, by a Senior Living Advisor using our automatic telephone dialing system.

Speak with a Senior Living Advisor now