published on
May 3, 2023

Ho, ho, ho! Our top six favourite Christmas activities for care homes

Jeanne Loganbill
posted on
Care organisations
Ho, ho, ho! Our top six favourite Christmas activities for care homes

Searching for Christmas activity ideas for your care home? You’re in the right place.

Not everyone celebrates the Christian version of Christmas – in fact, less than half the people in Britain now identify as Christian. Still, everyone knows what the word “Christmas” means in a popular sense: warmth, light and happiness.

Speaking of warmth and light, festivals illuminating the darkness are traditional in many different cultures and countries. Diwali, Hanukkah, solstice celebrations and the Chinese New Year all happen in autumn and winter each year.

No matter where your residents come from or how mobile they are, they’re likely to enjoy a range of fun seasonal activities. Here are a few of our favourites.

Our favourite Christmas activities for care homes

1. Get creative with Christmas crafts 

Christmas crafting sessions are relaxing and bring people together, plus they’re easy to adapt to residents’ needs. Here are three ideas to get you going:

  1. Ornaments: Break out the glitter glue, tinsel, paint and sequins – it’s bauble time. Fillable baubles and wooden baubles are both great DIY options.
  2. Christmas cards: You’ll need heavyweight cardstock, seasonal stickers, felt-tip pens, coloured pencils, felt and more to make these gorgeous cards
  3. Pine cone Christmas trees: Transform a simple pine cone into something special with beads, berries, pom poms and hot glue.

Christmas cracker: If you need more Covid-friendly Christmas activities for your care home, this handy list of 25 simple Christmas crafts might help.

2. Put Christmas baking on the menu

Is there anything better than the smell of Christmas baking? We don’t think so. From mince pies to decorated cookies, sweet treats bring everyone together. These three recipes work beautifully in care settings:

  1. Mince pies: Pop a dollop of mincemeat in a shortbread crust, then top with a pastry star and a little bit of powdered sugar. 
  2. Christmas sugar cookies: These soft vanilla biscuits are easy to make and decorate and even easier to eat.
  3. Gingerbread people: Dress up your gingerbread people with royal icing, jelly tots, raisins, smarties and melted chocolate.

Christmas cracker: If your residents have special dietary needs, take a look at these gluten-free seasonal recipes.

3. Decorate your care home

Tinsel and fairy lights make everything much brighter and prettier, and cheerful communal rooms and corridors can help alleviate some of the symptoms of seasonal depression. So, don’t hesitate to decorate your care home this year.

Craftier residents might enjoy a paper garland-making session. Pick up coloured sugar paper or decorative cardstock, scissors, glue and tape to create various different designs.

Christmas cracker: Why not have a door-decorating competition for residents? The winner gets a mini hamper full of seasonal goodies!

4. Have a Christmas singalong

Listening to music can help reduce stress. According to research, slower songs calm anxiety, while uptempo beats make people feel more positive – and at this time of year, carols are the obvious musical choice.

You could organise an in-house singalong if you have musical care home residents or staff. Pick familiar or traditional songs to maximise the nostalgic vibe, and invite residents’ family members and friends to join in if they can.

Christmas cracker: Local choirs often visit care homes at this time of year. For tips on finding musicians near you, see the Live Music in Care website.

5. Arrange a movie night

Christmas movie nights work particularly well after a day of seasonal baking. After all, what could be better than a classic film and a fresh mince pie? Some films, like Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life, will probably appeal to most residents, making them excellent movie night staples.

To arrange a movie night, ask your residents about their favourite films and set up a double feature. If you have a big-screen television or a projector on hand, even better.

Christmas cracker: Need inspiration? Here’s a list of 40 classic seasonal films to choose from.

6. Elf on the Shelf

Elf on the Shelf is a fairly new Christmas tradition. It all began with a 2005 children’s book (unsurprisingly entitled “The Elf on the Shelf”), and now it’s a global phenomenon. Every December, elves sit on shelves, swing from chandeliers and get up to all kinds of hijinks in homes all over the world.

You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy Elf on the Shelf. It’s a fun game for adults, too. So to delight your residents this year, why not buy an elf and put it in a few silly seasonal situations around the care home? 

Christmas cracker: Ask residents to write their favourite elf names on pieces of paper, then pick the name out of a hat.

We hope these care home Christmas activities help make things brighter this year. We love to see pictures of what you get up to, so please tag us on social media. Merry Christmas!

Twitter: @WeAreFlorence | Instagram: @Florencecares

Florence can help you schedule existing staff, find flexible nurses and carers to fill gaps in your rota, and provide essential training. Find out more and get started today.

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