For the past few years, my daughter who owns and manages a Restaurant/Bar in downtown Toronto has been giving back to the community at Christmas, but not with the usual food donation or toy drive, as there are lots of those all around the city.
She contacted an agency who focuses on Senior Citizens living in Nursing Homes. My daugher sets up a Christmas Tree in the bar, then the agency delivers tags to hang on the tree.
These tags have the first name of a Senior, their age, and what they would like as a gift. Sometimes, its a piece of costume jewellery, a scarf, a tie, cologne, a box of chocolates, gloves, music box, etc.
The patrons of the bar come in and pick a tag (or sometimes they pick several) from the tree.. They then go out and purchase the item for the senior they asked for and deliver it back to the restaurant, all wrapped up for Christmas.
As in the past, this year the tree had to be replenished with tags, and both times all tags were taken and a gift purchased. There were overe 60 gifts delivered to a deserving Senior some where in the city.
The harsh reality is, that many are forgotten, and don't have many visitors. I've seen this first hand when I visited with both my father and my aunt. I visited them often, at least 2-3 times per week, and often spent time chatting with other residents. That few minutes spent with them brought a smile to their face and made their day, to know someone cared about them.
These seniors feel lonely and forgotten, and we need to remember that just because they are seniors, doesn't mean the still don't have feelings...
So just another idea on how you can put a smile on someone's face next Christmas...