Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Local Level: Stockings for Nursing Home Residents

One of my favorite traditions of the holiday season is the stocking program we participate in. Each year, one of the local nursing homes sends our church a list of all the residents and a short description of things each individual particularly likes (plus a list of things that are generally appreciated by all). Then we get to choose a name and create a stocking for that person.

This year, Kevin and I chose Ada. Our card read:
"Ada likes detailed coloring books of flowers and nature, cookies, and crackers."

Here's what we put in her stocking:
  • An intricate butterfly coloring book
  • Pepperidge Farm cookies
  • A pair of extra fluffy, extra cozy socks (you know, the kind that make you feel like you're in heaven)
  • A variety of Burt's Bee lip balms
  • Neutrogena Norwegian Formula hand cream
  • A copy of my new CD
This is such a great program. It's simple, fun, and brings real joy to an otherwise often dreary place. Some of our friends sat down as a family one evening to draw pictures and write notes to include in their stocking. Their kids were so excited to be a "Secret Santa" of was *very* sweet!

Any group could contact a nursing home and arrange to do this: your office at work, your elementary school class, your Girl Scout Troup, Little League Team, PTO, even a group of friends or families in your neighborhood. Apparently, even your Motorcycle Club can get in the game. :)

Other ways you can help spread some joy at a nursing home this season:
Ask your local nursing home...they'll be able to tell you exactly what would bring some cheer to their residents this year.

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