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    Posted December 12, 2012 by
    Houston, Texas
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Blended holiday traditions

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    Seniors at Parkway Place, an active senior living community, recently celebrated the holidays with a sugary twist. This year’s theme was Christmas in Candyland. Every year, Parkway Place hosts a holiday open house to welcome neighbors and friends of residents to experience a glamorous afternoon of fine dining, live entertainment, and dazzling décor. The fun-filled event gave the residents a chance to continue their yearly tradition of attending holiday parties and spending time with family. The scrumptious and colorful event brought back memories for the seniors, and helped them create new memories as well.


    “I’ve spent eight Christmases at Parkway Place, and each year the staff puts together a lovely party with holiday hors d'oeuvres in the dining room and festive music around the fireplace,” said Wilda Wilson, 96-year-old Parkway Place resident. “I enjoy seeing friends in our community dress in their finest and contribute to the décor with their own homemade and gorgeous creations.”

    Wilson laughs when she thinks of all the store bought items on her grandchildren’s Christmas list. She remembers the times when kids had far fewer gifts on their Christmas lists. She fondly looks back on a memory of her own childhood when her sister and she wanted a pair of glittery red shoes from Santa Claus. They were certain they would get them and were surprised when they did not.


    “Growing up, my siblings and I were raised on a farm in Kansas where we would cut down part of a cedar tree outside and intertwine homemade strings of popcorn and cranberries on the branches for Christmas,” said Wilson. “It’s much different today than it was when I was a child. At the Christmas party, we all swap stories about our grandkids and our families.”


    “This is a special time for Parkway Place residents, as we recognize that this is a time for them to create new traditions,” said Rhonda Duncan, life enrichment director, Parkway Place. “We are like a big family here, and our goal is to share the holidays together in a fun and memorable way. The Christmas Party is something staff and residents look forward to all year!”


    The annual Christmas Party is a celebration that makes the holidays special for the residents. It is an afternoon for residents to come together and create holiday memories, just like they would with their families. This special event is also an opportunity for neighbors and friends to explore the community, visit with the residents, and enjoy the holiday season.

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