When I first started out and began dreaming about great places for Santa to visit, I thought it would be great to visit a senior care facility. I figured the gray-haired kids needed a visit from Santa as much as any other children.
The goal got put on the back burner until last year, when I began working at a great senior care place that offers quality living arrangements for seniors--from assisted living, to skilled nursing, to memory care. I only got to do a couple of visits last year, which was fine, since getting acclimated to the new job took most of my energy.
This year the activities coordinator asked me to do 4 appearances, including the Family Christmas Dinner, and the end-of-the-year parties celebrating the programs that bring schoolchildren over to volunteer. I got to hold a 2-month-old girl while her mom snapped a few shots, I gave out candy canes to kindergarten and grade school kids, and I got to tell the older folks that they'd been on Santa's good list for many, many years, while their adult children took pictures of me with them.
So this year I got to visit with kids "from 1 to 92" and it was a fantastic experience! Since it's a Christian care center, I had the opportunity to bring the Reason for the Season into my visits, which made it even better. In addition to singing "Rudolph the Red nosed Reindeer" we also sang the first verse of "Away in a Manger." At the end of the visits, I encouraged the children to "respect your teachers, listen to your parents, help those who need it, be kind to everyone, and remember that before there was Christmas, there was Christ." The capstone event was Christmas Eve morning, when Santa came to read "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" to the gray-haired children who had come with some of their great and great-great grandchildren.
All in all, Christmas 2014 goes down as one of the best ever.