While holidays are typically steeped in tradition, as in “We’ve always hosted at Aunt Martha’s house” and “Every year, we serve the cranberry sauce like this,” sometimes stretching is required. When celebrating with seniors, a good-sized helping of flexibility on your plate can be a real game changer. Consider loosening up on the details and remember the why of the tradition rather than get bogged down in trying to keep everything like it used to be.

Yes, traditions are important. Yes, traditions must be carried on and passed down. And, they shouldn’t be tossed aside or ignored. Instead find ways to adapt, to be flexible, to go with the flow as you head into the holidays with your aging loved ones. Because, let’s face it. We age. Our loved ones age. And things change. Driving into the city for a parade may not be realistic. Children opening presents with family gathered around might not be an option any more. Serving the family cranberry sauce recipe ‘just like this’ could be bad for Grandpa’s diabetes.

So flex a little. A short video clip on a smart phone can show grandchildren’s surprised faces when opening presents. Sharing the parade on tv with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee can beat the chaos of a crowd and still give time together to reminisce about parades of the past. Sugar-free cranberry sauce instead of mom’s traditional sauce can get the job done.

Loosen the strings a little this year, as you head into the holidays- you won’t regret it.

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