Must-Have Tips When Family Comes Over For the Holidays

ornaments and chrismas branches

The holidays are approaching and you’re hosting the annual family get-together this year. You have some guests sleeping over and the grandchildren need to be entertained. But there’s so much to do: cook, decorate the house, and ensure that everything goes smoothly. It’s important to not stress out over every detail, especially in your golden years. The holidays should be a time meant for joy and family, not a scramble to make night perfect. And for seniors, high levels of stress can be detrimental to overall health and the immune system. Alert1 wants to make sure you’re prepared for when the family comes over. Follow these tips to have a safe and stress-free holiday season of family and fun.

Have a Holiday Potluck

roasted chicken celebration

In your golden years, you should minimize stress, heavy lifting, or rigorous physical activity. Studies show that stress takes a greater toll on seniors than younger people, affecting emotional and physical health. Do you still have the energy to spend hours in the kitchen to make the perfect soup or bake the perfect ham?   It’s perfectly okay if you don’t. Your senior years are simply a new chapter in life. Here’s a tip to avoid stress and fatigue in the kitchen—have a holiday potluck!

Invite your family members to bring a dish of their own. Not only will this reduce the load of cooking for you, but it can bring a spice of variety to the table. Some guests might bring a twist on the traditional holiday dish. You might find that your grandniece makes a mean stuffing and your cousin makes amazing desserts. This will keep things exciting and delicious.

It’s easy to get the ball rolling for your holiday potluck. Simply contact family members in advance and request some bring a dessert, others to bring an appetizer, and the rest to bring an entrée. You can either ask each relative personally or distribute the dishes among the siblings. Perhaps the aunts can bring the hors d’oeuvres and the uncles can bring the side dishes. Just be sure to give your loved ones ample time so they can cook their dish to perfection.

By the end, you'll have a well-balanced holiday dinner. You can still decide to baste the perfect turkey, if you please. But having a family potluck can reduce the hours you spend in the kitchen. You can use more time to prepare the house or cherish those hours with your loved ones.

Decorate the House with the Family

Paper Snow Flake

Is it more difficult to hunch over and light up the fireplace this year? Is it too painful to hammer the wreath into the front door? Though it’s important to get light physical exercise, aging can affect your mobility. This could mean muscle weakness, joint issues, difficulty walking, and increased chance of falls. Make sure to keep a fall detection pendant nearby to keep yourself safe this holiday season.

You might find that family members are generous enough to offer you help when decorating for the big night. If they offer their hand, feel free to accept! You don’t want to feel overwhelmed when preparing for a night full of fun. Not only will it give your loved ones something to do, but cooperative efforts will make decorative work safer and more time-efficient.

If the little ones arrive early, you can let them help decorate with a family-friendly activity. Here’s an idea for a collaborative holiday decoration:

Make some paper snowflake decorations. Invite all the grandchildren to have fun with this activity. It’s easy, fun, and kids will enjoy making creations of their own. All you need is square white paper and scissors.

  • Fold the square white paper down the middle to make a rectangle
  • Fold it down the middle again to make it into a square
  • Rotate the square to turn it into a diamond
  • Fold the diamond in half
  • Cut shapes into the side of the diamond. Get creative!
  • Slowly unfold the cut diamond to reveal the snowflake!

Hang the snowflakes around your house, turning it into a winter wonderland. The kids will be proud of their intricate work.

Be a Top-Notch Host

Living Room

For some, the holidays are the only time of year when the entire family is united. This means that your family is traveling a long distance and may need a place to stay the night. If you are playing bed and breakfast this holiday season, check out these tips:

Keep things comfy and cozy. Prepare in advance so guests can feel at home. Leave a small basket of toiletries on top of the bed and an ample supply of towels. Provide heavy and light blankets on top of the bed so guests can keep warm this holiday season. Install nightlights in your hallways and in the bathroom to prevent stubbed toes in the middle of the night.

Prepare some amenities. You’ll want to keep the guest room clean and inviting. Keep a glass for water on a bedside table with a pitcher of spring water. If they will fit, put a small side table and a comfy chair in each bedroom. Lay a bundle of magazines, small books, and a daily newspaper on the table. You may want to have a catalog of nearby points of interest if they’ve never been to your house before. And if you have a wireless network, don’t forget to leave a note with the wifi password. It’s the little things that add up, making an overnight experience wonderful.

Stock the pantry. The last thing a host wants is a gaggle of hungry guests in the after-dinner hours. A little goes a long way when it comes to food. Before your guests arrive, stock the pantry with a variety of savory and sweet snacks. Encourage the guests to help themselves. And don’t be afraid to ask about allergy or dietary concerns. You wouldn’t want to learn last-minute that your granddaughter is vegetarian. 

Planning for the Days After

snowball Fight

Your big holiday party turned out to be a huge hit. Your guests have a couple more days left to stay in the neighborhood. To cap off their stay, you may want to plan some fun family activities. During the holidays, there will be some special events in your area. Here are ideas to stir things up this holiday season:

Go out and play in the snow. This is not only fun for the kids but might also inspire some nostalgia for the seniors. Go out to a slope and supervise the kids while they enjoy some classic sledding. Break into teams and start a friendly snowball fight: elders vs. youngsters.

Have a Christmas movie marathon. If the weather is too frightful, consider watching a marathon of movies. Bundle up, start up the fireplace, and pop some popcorn. Some popular movies you can buy, rent, or stream include ElfThe Santa Clause, and Home Alone. Reminisce with holiday classics like A Christmas Story or A Charlie Brown Christmas.

If you’re out frolicking in the snow, Alert1 also wants to make sure you keep safe. Keep a PAX Mobile Fall Detection close. PAX Mobile Fall Detection can automatically detect a fall even if you’re miles away from home. The medical alert system has industry-leading GPS technology so you can get the help you need. Winter makes the ground slippery, but you don’t need to fear going out in the snow. Have peace of mind this holiday season with a medical alert at your side.

It’s Never Too Early

Grandmas at breakfast

It’s never too soon to start preparing for the holidays. If your upcoming party date is coming up, don’t hesitate to begin. Send out those invites. Keep in contact with the relatives to make sure they bring the right food for the potluck and pack the right clothes for the occasion. Arrange the guest rooms and start planning out the days of festivities. It’s better to be done early than to be scrambling at the end. With a little prior preparation, you can have an unforgettable holiday season.