The holidays are a time for tradition. Growing up in an Irish, Catholic family we always went to midnight mass. We got to open one present Christmas Eve and the rest Christmas morning.

Mom would start cooking sometimes two days before. The house smelled of pumpkins and sage and cranberry. To this day when I smell cranberries, I see a Christmas tree in my head.

As we age, traditions become more important than ever. Doing the same thing, at the same place, at the same time, brings immense comfort to the elderly. No, it is not that they are control freaks, but they have needs that need routine. Knowing where a bathroom is or what time dinner will be is just an essential part of most seniors’ day.

When you invite your mom or grandmother to dinner, please, please remember this. So many times I hear, “We invited mom but she didn’t want to come.” Well, it is not that she didn’t want to spend time with her loved ones, it may very well be that she was not comfortable with the logistics of the day.

We have to be overly considerate when involving these loved ones.

They have lost so much, please don’t contribute to them losing the traditions that they established.





  1. Alan Young
    Posted January 2, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Dwayne, thanks for your recent blog about Holiday traditions. My mom is non ambulatory, and down with a fractured distal femur. Her accident in and around the recent Christmas season, and the need to wear a leg brace 24/7, AND her need to be around a wide-door bathroom, really put a damper on bringing her into my home during the holidays. But…we (my family) did the best we could in bringing Christmas to Mom, and trying to create a new tradition right in her own assisted living apartment. Perhaps next Christmas she can join us as usual.
    Alan Young, Camarillo, CA

  2. Capability Homecare
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    A great article! A great option instead of inviting mom to come to dinner at your home might be for you to join her for dinner at her Assisted Living community. She will love ‘showing you off’ and will be comfortable being in familiar surroundings.

  3. Pam
    Posted January 23, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    I am touched by your honesty and experiences with your own mother. And, your offering of wisdom for family and loved ones of our aging generations. Powerful words. A good reminder or awareness. Filled with compassion. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Jeff Golden
    Posted February 27, 2013 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Very touching. To honor our Father and Mother is to serve them as they have served us. It is through our maturity that we come to embrace the truth; that it truly is better to give than recieve. God Bless you! Jeff

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