It’s the time of year for rewatching classic movies like Miracle on 34th Street and tuning into TV shows filled with smiling families gathering around Christmas trees or lighting menorahs. For many seniors, however, Hollywood’s take on the holidays doesn’t match up with reality. Though it may be the “most wonderful time of the year” for some, the lyrics to Andy Williams’s hit song can seem more pie-in-the-sky than practical. Loved ones may be far away, and holiday cheer can be difficult to muster in the face of health concerns and other challenges.

But even if you’re alone this season, the holidays can still bring joy! With delicious holiday dining and a monthly activities calendar full of fitness classes, games, religious services, and more, The Woodlands at Furman provides plenty of opportunities to get out and meet new friends. Whether you’re single or married, near your family or far from it, here are some ways to make the holidays brighter:

  • Give back. Though it’s true all year long, the holidays are a great time to remember that giving is better than receiving. Consider knitting hats, scarves, and mittens for people who need them in the Greenville area. If you served in the military or know someone who did, why not prepare care packages and cards for active-duty soldiers or first responders who have to work over the holidays? Whether you’re interested in singing carols with your local church or spreading cheer by volunteering at charities like Project Host, you can do good work and boost your own morale at the same time.
  • Organize a seasonal social. No matter what your religious background, the month of December offers opportunities to gather with new and old acquaintances for fun and friendship. Think about inviting your neighbors at The Woodlands to help you decorate your home for winter festivities. You can bake and frost cookies together, or you can host a gift swap with seasonal cocktails and your favorite holiday nibbles.
  • Reach out to the people who mean the most. If the holidays make you feel isolated, bust up the winter blues by talking to the people who matter to you. Use Skype or FaceTime to see your grandchildren with a high-tech virtual visit, or use Facebook to reconnect with friends you might not have spoken to in years. You can also get in touch with your own family history by conducting genealogical research on or documenting your memories in a scrapbook.

Holidays at The Woodlands at Furman are an especially festive time for residents and their families, with activities ranging from Christmas sing-alongs and movie screenings to holiday-themed performances both on and off site. See Laughing All the Way at Centre Stage, or take a nearby excursion to McAlister Auditorium at Furman University to hear the Greenville Chorale sing Handel’s Messiah. And if you’re unable to leave the community for medical or safety reasons, our staff will provide individualized attention to ensure that you’re as engaged as you want to be during this emotional time of year.

Though the way you celebrate the season may be changing, The Woodlands at Furman provides a welcoming place to make new memories and traditions that you’ll treasure for years to come. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Holidays!

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