Thanksgiving is a treasured time at Sunshine Retirement Communities. We revel in the opportunity to bring families, friends and loved ones together whether it be for a sumptuous feast in one of our dining areas, a turkey dinner at a nice restaurant or a family home, or simply sharing a slice of pumpkin pie by the fireplace.
As you’re probably well aware, chefs at each of our communities like to pull out all the stops for their Thanksgiving dinners, serving up traditional side dishes like stuffing, cranberries and sweet potatoes, while adding a few regional variations as well. Some communities, like Villa Serena in Santa Clara, California, are steering toward more health-conscious menus and providing more vegetarian options, by popular demand.
Yet, what we love just as much as the celebrations of food are the growing number of gatherings and events at various communities that are geared to acknowledge the true inspiration for the holiday: Gratitude.
One such gathering takes place at Heritage Point, our Memory Care community in Mishawaka, Indiana. Their Gratitude Chain activity is a discussion group and art class where the residents talk about what they are grateful for and reminisce about their holiday traditions. Then they write their grateful thoughts on a slip of paper and create a chain that they use to decorate the dining room for their Thanksgiving celebration.
Residents at Villa Serena have also been writing down what they’re grateful for and hanging them on their Thankful Tree for all to see.
Similarly, for the past several months, The Clairmont in Austin, Texas has been having a Kindness Circle, where residents share acts and thoughts of kindness toward each other. It’s been such a huge success that it only made sense to turn it into “Count Your Blessings Circle” for Thanksgiving. Residents have been sharing what they’re thankful for and experiencing the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
At Dunwoody Pines, Georgia, they’re documenting and sharing their gratitude in a slightly different way this year. On Wednesday, November 15, residents came out and shared what they’re thankful for in front of a video camera. Activity Director Ashley Hurd is now busy editing the “I Am Thankful For” footage and will premiere the video on (when else?) Thanksgiving Day.
Whatever you do to share your gratitude, fill your stomach, and gather with loved ones, we wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings. Needless to say, we’re very grateful to be a part of it.
*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living, November, 2017.