8 Christmas activities which are COVID-19 safe

Small social events can have a hugely positive impact on a lot of people over the Christmas period. Certain restrictions do make arranging activities a challenge but with a little planning, you can make it a safe, festive and fun for your residents. Here are eight activities you can organise in your care setting to spread some holiday joy this year.

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Christmas is a special time of year for many people, and for others who don’t have anybody to share it with, it can be equally difficult. Now, due to COVID-19 restrictions, Christmas in 2020 is like no other in recent memory. This holiday season there’s even more reason to provide a small slice of normality and remind each other of the positives of not facing the pandemic alone.

Small social events can have a hugely positive impact on a lot of people over the Christmas period. Certain restrictions do make arranging activities a challenge but with a little planning, you can make it a safe, festive and fun for your residents. Here are eight activities you can organise in your care setting to spread some holiday joy this year.

1. Carol singing

There are few things that will instantly raise Christmas spirit among a group of people at Christmas but singing seems to have a magic effect. That’s why carollers go door-to-door spreading cheer. However, your residents can do this from the safety of your home by singing along to the radio or a CD. You can also find TV shows to watch on demand like Songs of Praise, which normally have carol themed episodes that you can join in with.

If you’d like to share your talents, consider putting on a virtual show for family and friends through a video performance. Ensure you follow government advice on safe singing by limiting the number of people in a group, providing a well-ventilated area, and keeping two metres apart.

2. Christmas themed quiz

How much Christmas trivia do your residents know? Can they finish the lyric to what happened on the Twelfth Day of Christmas? Can they guess what the French call Santa Claus? Or do they know where the Christmas tree originates from?

This will need to be an individual quiz, so keep it light-hearted and simple by providing multiple choice answers. Test their knowledge on subjects that hold personal meaning, for example, by including the authors, actors and singers for famous Christmas books, movies and songs. It will be sure to jog some memories and spark conversation afterwards.

3. Be crafty

Decorate your home with hand-made festive decorations or make them for loved ones to display in their homes. Reduce sharing by giving your residents a selection of materials that is exclusive to them, or have them write you a list of what they would like to work with. Paper mache tree decorations, knitted or crochet ornaments or accessories, Christmas cards and wire-framed wreathes are popular choices.

4. Christmas movie evening

For most families at Christmas, it’s tradition to gather round the TV and watch a movie or two. Care home staff and residents are a different kind of family, and sometimes can be closer than the real thing. Bonding over a movie remains an easy and cost-effective social activity, and one that is easy to maintain social distancing. From classic films that we’ve seen dozens of times, to modern releases, you can take your audiences on adventures from the comfort of their own chair.

5. Organise a Christmas buffet

Christmas has been programmed into all our senses, including taste. Eating and drinking certain food items can create a nostalgic effect. Putting on a basic Christmas buffet of mince pies, cheese and crackers, cranberry sauce and party foods, paired with tea, coffee, Baileys, sherry, port and Christmas pudding for dessert, is a simple but favourite way of spreading holiday cheer in a social environment. Provide a table service to avoid sharing.

6. Bake Christmas treats

If you have the time, resources and facilities to bake, it can be a delicious way to get everyone involved in something a little different. Residents can assist in planning and decorating Christmas-themed treats like gingerbread tree decorations, Santa hat cupcakes or snowball cookies. It will smell great and you can even sell the bakes to visitors or staff to support a charity.

7. Christmas classics storytelling

No matter how old you get, you can’t beat a good story – especially when it comes to the Christmas classics your residents will remember from their childhood. You can find audiobooks and podcasts on platforms like YouTube, Spotify and Audible.

Alternatively, someone can volunteer to read a book, or even write their own Christmas story. This is a perfect alternative for those with poor eyesight who may not be capable of watching the television.

8. Write Christmas poems

Poems come in many shapes and forms and are unique to each individual. They offer a creative outlet to express yourself and anyone can write them. They can rhyme, have humour, or be short and sweet like a haiku. There are no rules.

This year’s hardships have evoked different emotions from everybody. Large numbers of people wouldn’t have had many visitors or will have been stuck indoors for long periods of time. It’s going to be a very different type of Christmas, so why not ask your residents to reflect on what it means to them and have a group reading session to share their feelings.

Bonus: Make New Year’s resolutions

Christmas festivities are usually first on the agenda. For many, it’s a time celebrate and take your mind off certain events, but as we approach the end of the year it’s a good idea to look ahead and plan our future goals.

Making New Year’s resolutions is a good opportunity to think about what can be improved going into 2021. Do you want to do more exercise or spend more time doing an activity, or learn a new skill or technology? Having something to look forward to is just as important as having a good time in the moment.

Using CareDocs

Plan and record your individual or group events using CareDocs. It’s crucial that a note is recorded when an event happens so there is a log of useful information to relate back to. Our Daily Note feature allows you to write text notes for a wide variety of health related, personal and leisurely activities.

You can keep track of who attended and how it went, as well as record the emotions of those people involved. Events are easily searchable, and if you have one coming up, CareDocs will let you know.

For more information about how CareDocs can make a difference for your care home, get in touch today. Call us on 0330 056 3333 or email us at SalesGroup@caredocs.co.uk.

Originally published on December 21, 2020 – updated on January 28, 2021
Originally published on December 21, 2020
Article updated on July 7, 2021

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