Ghosts and goblins have been tucked away; the witch’s hat is at the cleaners and Christmas carols are playing… everywhere. Wait! Has Thanksgiving been forgotten?

Seniors are steadfast about holidays and observing their traditions. Holidays are signposts on the calendar and important parts of the life cycle.

Thanksgiving has been an American institution for many years but in 1941 President Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving. Thanks was given “for the greatest harvest in the history of our Nation…” America had survived a devastating drought, was rebuilding after the depression, and in the initial phase of WWII. Seniors remember the struggles of those years and how good it felt to be thankful.

What are Thanksgiving traditions? One favorite is the Macy’s Holiday Parade, which was first broadcast on radio in 1924 and televised in homes since 1946. A traditional Thanksgiving meal is turkey, dressing, cranberries, and pumpkin pie. It is no surprise a good nap and a well-played football game follow. Seniors and their loved ones often invite others to join in the celebration. Thanksgiving kicks off the December holidays, all rooted in tradition.

Christmas, the marking of the Savior’s birth, is celebrated by Christian communities around the globe. Carols, advertisements, and media attention begin earlier every year. However, the joy and spiritual aspects of Christianity remain. On December 25th, Seniors and loved ones share the spirit of giving..

Hanukkah, a Jewish holiday, is identified by images of a Menorah. Its eight candles represent the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem after it was retaken by the Maccabees. Prayers, dreidel games, and special fried foods are associated with this holiday. Hanukkah is determined by the Jewish calendar and lasts eight days. One gift is traditionally opened each day.

Kwanza, an African American holiday lasting seven days, originated in 1966.  Fruits of the harvest are given special attention. Colored candles represent the seven principles of African thoughts and values. Fresh fruit and produce are displayed and children receive gifts the last day of Kwanza.

Winter Solstice, a non-Christian holiday, signals the longest day of the year. Dancing and bonfires are the typical traditions and practiced in countries from China to Spain to the USA.

Seniors and their loved ones find the most appropriate homes for holiday celebrations with the assistance of Bridge to Better Living. One of the best presents to give this holiday season is a visit with Bridge to Better Living. Contact them today… celebrate!