- Linnea Maki
Around this time every year, families begin to ask us for gift suggestions for their loved ones. "What should I buy mom for Christmas?" It seems like the older our parents & grandparents get, the harder it is to come up with ideas.
The truth is, parents & grandparents will always love anything their children & grandchildren give them. My Grandma's tree is still decorated with ornaments made by her grandchildren when we were little. She keeps them in a special box for safe keeping. :-)
When I visit my Grandma, she almost always has set something aside for me. Some little gift that she wants me to have because she knows I will appreciate it. Some of my most treasured belongings have come from her. They are little things- a trinket, a recipe book, old pictures, a bracelet...
It doesn't matter what it is. Anything from her makes it sentimental to me. It's her way of reminding me that she thinks of me when I'm not with her. It's the love behind these little gifts that make them so meaningful. Every time I see them, I think of her...and always will.
Four years ago, Dawn Brotten & Kimmie Derby came up with the idea of starting a Secret Santa Tree for our residents. Every year, they put a lot of time & effort into meeting individually with each resident and organizing their "gift lists" for Santa. The love from caregivers like them have helped make Christmas time in our home so special.
Three gifts are selected from each resident's list and are written on ornaments that decorate the tree. Staff pick an ornament, buy and wrap the gift(s) and the residents open them at their Christmas Party.
Within a few days, all the ornaments have been claimed. We love our extended family here so much that we all want to make their Christmas party memorable. Most ornaments list things such as warm socks, nice smelling lotion, a gift certificate for a haircut, pajama pants or a fleece sweatshirt. Little gifts.
Excitement & happiness fill the room as they wait they see what Santa brought them. The smiles on their faces as they unwrap & display their gifts touches us all. It's our way of letting them know that we think about them even when we are not here. It's another way of showing them how much they are loved.
Hope to see you at the Resident & Family Christmas Party on December 20th :-)