Simblija Care Home are wrapping themselves in the “Spirit of love this Christmas”, as they prepare for an exciting calendar of festive activities and events to spark joy in their residents. It’s a calendar which is aimed at stimulating the emotional, spiritual, and physical senses. Traditionally in Simblija, the Christmas season has always brought so much joy to residents, primarily through organised festivities that make sure to include families and friends. Running throughout these activities is the common thread of celebration, based on the love and care which exists between residents and staff.
This year is even more special than other years after the restrictions being in place last year.
On the 7th of December, the celebrations are launched with the “Lighting Up Of The Village”, which begins with a mass, followed by a festive buffet dinner for residents and their families or friends, all complimented by Christmas carols performed by Julie James, a veteran singer from the Manoel Theatre, very well-known and much loved by the residents.
It is understood that spirituality is of the utmost importance to many elderly residents and mass is celebrated daily, leading up to the traditional Christmas Eve mass, which is followed by mulled wine and hot chocolate. New Year’s Eve is also celebrated through mass and a toast to welcome the New Year is organised right before dinner. At this time diversity is something to be celebrated, and cultures are brought together in one celebration. In a care home, many cultures live under one roof and through organised educational talks related to how different cultures celebrate Christmas around the world, a better understanding between residents can be reached.
Christmas can be a lonely time for some, as relatives are abroad or absent. Some residents may not go out of the Home and are cut away from society as a whole. Therefore, at Christmas, through the organising of a Christmas Market, the residents have a taste of the traditional village market most loved to shop from. It also gives them the opportunity to find that special something to buy for their loved ones. This year this market is made up of twenty stalls showcasing everything from hand-crafted jewellery, candles, and food to artworks and spices, allowing residents to shop and also mingle and meet with the people who visit from the outside.
The activity schedule includes other specially selected stimulating activities like card making, Christmas baking and a visit to a pottery factory, where residents can make their own Christmas themed pottery piece. There is a Christmas visit from Maggie – the uplifting therapy dog from the MSPCA, who always brings so many smiles to the residents’ faces. Nobody is ever too old for Santa Claus and Simblija Care Home residents are no exception! His visit is a central part of the activity calendar, visiting the Home with his sleigh and giving out Christmas presents. Staff too do their part, by going around the Home bringing cheer by visiting residents in their rooms, singing Christmas carols. It is always so nice to see residents singing and dancing along to these carols, as they take them down memory lane.
Simblija Care Home is clear testimony to how Christmas in care homes should be celebrated. The holistic way in which all the activities are brought together sees to all the residents’ needs, providing a varied program of activities which sees to every taste. Above all however, such a calendar of events seeks to bring the spirit of love, family and friends within the care home which after all, is what Christmas is all about.