2014-12-04 / Senior Savvy

‘Tis the Season!

By Florence Archambault

The door closed on Thanksgiving, and the Christmas season, or the holiday season to be politically correct, is now upon us. Whatever you call it, this time of year can be more stressful than it need be. Take a deep breath and grab paper and pen.

You need to make some lists; first, identify gift recipients and make a budget. Have you thought about re-gifting family treasures? Like the dish that was your mother’s? Your granddaughter might like it as remembrance. Or maybe some of the jewelry that you haven’t worn for ages? Look around the house. These gifts often mean more to the recipients than you will ever know.

Scan the flyers that come with the papers and then jot down ideas. Shop local – and don’t forget the church and senior center bazaars for unusual items. The Edward King House has one coming up on Saturday, Dec. 6, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Check the paper for more listings.

If shopping is difficult for you, rely on gift certificates. Add a personal touch by penning a note telling your loved ones how much they mean to you. If you are computer savvy, you can also shop online.

Now that we have the gift giving in hand, it is time to make sure that you take care of yourself.

There are lots of activities around town to help us celebrate the season, and many are free. Check the Christmas in Newport calendar, and jot down another list of the events that interest you. Do you like music (concerts or carol singing), touring houses, or checking out the special decorations? Visit the calendar pages of the paper for more listings outside of the Christmas in Newport programs.

One way to help alleviate the sadness of missing loved ones at this time of year is to surround yourself with people and keep busy. There are many social events at the Edward King House Senior Center. I’ve included a few suggestions, but I am sure you can think of others. Invite someone over for a cup of tea.

Christmas luncheons are upon us. Can you believe I will be attending one on three consecutive days next week beginning on Monday? The Edward King House is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 10, at noon at the Atlantic Beach Club with entertainment and a special holiday ornament swap. Call the center at 401- 846-7246 for information.

A Holiday Silver Tea and Harp Concert will be held on Sunday, Dec. 14 at 2 p.m. at the King House, featuring a harp performance by Mary King in the ballroom. Immediately following the concert tea and dessert will be available.

On Saturday, Dec. 20, from 6-8 p.m. you are invited to the ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Party to partake of some holiday cheer, a visit from Santa Claus, a reading of the famous Clement C. Moore poem, and a sing-along. The cost is free for King House members and $5 for guests.

A new addition this year will be the Hanukkah celebration on Friday, Dec. 19, at 2 p.m. This is free and open to the public but seating is limited. Even if you don’t celebrate Hanukkah, come join the group and learn the story of Hanukkah and share the music, activities, and refreshments.

You can see that there is an abundance of activities at the King House to help you enjoy the holidays, but there is so much to choose from. Other island senior centers have similar programs planned, and members should check the monthly newsletters to see what is available. There is no need for anyone to spend the season alone, but connecting won’t happen unless you make an effort to reach out.

If you celebrate Christmas, check out the church concerts and services and remember the real reason behind the holiday. I wish all of you happy days as we celebrate the entire month. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah.

Florence Archambault, of Newport, is 84 years young and well-known for her community volunteerism and teaching and writing family history.

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