17/12/2020 by Matleena Kaurila
Christmas at The Helsinki Senior Foundation
At the Senior Foundation, waiting for Christmas is an atmospheric time. The preparation for Christmas begins at the first Advent and lasts until the Christmas holidays and the New Year. The units decorate the common areas for Christmas. Christmas lights are hung on the windows to bring joy to the darkest season, inside we light LED candles and lanterns in the yards. Advent devotions can be watched on television and the windows of the traditional Christmas calendar are opened. This year we received donation calendars e.g. from scouts.
In the care unit in December, Christmas cakes and gingerbread are baked and eaten according to the wishes of the residents. This Christmas, we will also be competing for the Foundation’s Gingerbread House Championship, which is open to residents and staff together. Christmas is also prepared by making Christmas cards and crafting elf doors, as well as other Christmas decorations. We are in no hurry, everything is done at our own pace.
Normally we have a lot of outside visitors and performers at Christmas time, this year there have been only a few visitors outdoors due to the corona situation. Christmas music is listened to in the booths according to the wishes of the residents, and live music is also heard on the piano and accordion in December. The most beautiful Christmas carols, as well as other Christmas concerts, can be listened to streamed and via computer.
The Christmas trees, residents and staff together will decorate the group homes and public spaces to their wishes. We also have a chance go to the Christmas sauna. At Christmas, there is also the opportunity to remember already deceased loved ones by lighting a lantern or candle in the courtyard of our houses.
On Christmas Eve, those who want to will be watching the christian eve service on television this year, and of course when Turku in Finland declares Christmas peace. Our residents wear formal dresses if they wish and our kitchen prepares a festive Christmas lunch which we eat together. Santa is not visiting this year, but may leave Christmas greetings to our residents in the form of soft packages, flowers or Christmas cards. Somewhere in the group home, an elf might visit to bring Christmas chocolates. Christmas is a celebration of being together, where everyone has invited!
The new year 2021 will be received this year among your own group home. On the eve, small New Year’s magics and prophecies are made, perhaps New Year’s resolutions. Watching fireworks on TV and eating sausages, as well as potato salad. Wishing you a happy new year, may it bring a lot of joy, light and hope to everyone!