During this holiday season, several seniors came together to create new traditions with their peers. The holidays are a time to share love, give gifts, complete acts of service and bestow kindness upon others. They’re also a time to indulge in some activities you have time to enjoy during your retirement. Not having the hassle of balancing work, family and holiday events opens the door to participating in unique outings, gatherings, activities, performances and social hours.
“When planning each month’s activities, I think of the things I wish I had time to do or have always wanted to do, in addition activities I’ve always enjoyed doing and ones the residents are passionate about as well,” said Lisa Englander, life enrichment manager for Presbyterian Village North (PVN). “Just because most of these residents are retired doesn’t mean they are done trying new things and staying busy. They crave events that expand their cultural perception of the world, ones that introduce them to people from different walks of life, activities that give them something to talk about and excursions that provide opportunities for unique experiences. The holidays are no exception.”
In addition to the community’s traditional tree decorating and lighting ceremony, PVN invited area schools to celebrate with the residents as well. One of the most exciting things of note was a visit from the Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet School Glee Club made up of sixth graders. They recently performed Christmas carols for residents living at Presbyterian Village North. Every year, the Glee Club goes ‘on tour’ and brings cheer to seniors. The choir consists of approximately 40 students from Hamilton Park, the first magnet school in Dallas. The school has a rich history and a diverse student population. The school’s mission is to develop students through innovative and diverse learning experiences in a multicultural environment. Leaving the campus to interact with seniors at an intergenerational event supports this mission while benefiting the residents by providing a fulfilling experience.
“We also scheduled a performance by Angela’s Angels who performed a ballet recital for residents,” said Englander. “The residents just love seeing kids that remind them of their own grandchildren perform. In addition, we had a holiday breakfast taco and pancake bar, our annual Candlelight dinner, a caroling performance by the Women’s Chorus of Dallas and other Christmas sing-alongs. One popular outing included taking residents to see the Gift of Christmas at the Prestonwood Baptist church, which included a live nativity scene with camels, zebras and goats. We also went caroling, looking at Christmas lights, venturing to the 12 Days of Christmas display at the Dallas Arboretum and attending a performance by the Big Brassy Christmas performance. It has been an extremely busy and fulfilling holiday season for residents, and it has created opportunities for them to get to know their neighbors. PVN just completed the first phase of a $93 million expansion project earlier this year, so we have many new faces in our community. Our hope is that residents find joy in making new traditions and experiencing fabulous events with their peers in addition to the time spent with their families.”