Here at Assisting Hands Home Care in Arlington Heights, IL, one of the things we love about caregiving is how much life experience our seniors have! We love to hear the wisdom and stories our clients and their families have to share from around the local community.
This month we asked our caregivers if their seniors would like to share some special holiday memories with us, and it turns out they did! Many of our families have lived in Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect, Prospect Heights, Wheeling, Des Plaines, or in Chicagoland, for many years! We love to hear about local memories and maybe even some tips!
During the holidays, many families come together over a home-cooked meal, and some of our clients are wonderful cooks and bakers! One of our Arlington Heights seniors makes his own cranberry sauce by boiling cranberries in orange juice and water.
Traditions from Poland
Another one of our clients used to make several holiday meals every season when her children were young. She would bake bread, and a variety of sweets and goodies, and make Polish dishes like pirogies and pork stacks. This talented host also has a holiday tradition of setting up a miniature village underneath her Christmas tree! These days, the grandchildren love playing around it, and they have deemed the village Galena…or as one of the littlest calls it, Thumbelina!
Traditions from Canada
One of our other Arlington Heights clients has lived locally for many years, but is actually from Canada. When she was growing up, her family would always attend a mass at midnight on Christmas morning. As a young child, she would have to be in bed at that time, but as she got older, she would go to the midnight mass, and then attend the feast that would follow at 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning!
A friend of hers would bring a roast duck. Eventually everyone would go to sleep, but they would wake up again early the next morning to open presents. Another Christmas dinner was planned for later that day and her entire family would come over. It sounds like quite the day of celebrations!
Winter Activities from Canada
Our lovely client from Canada remembers sledding on Christmas day as a child. She also has a special memory of skating on a gorgeous ice skating rink in Montreal that was tucked in between the mountains. She remembers how beautiful it was skating there one evening when it was snowing lightly.
You could take a break from skating and warm up inside the warming house with a cup of hot chocolate. She later brought her children there to skate. Sounds like a perfect place to enjoy some white winter weather!
Traditions from Chicago
One of the members of our Assisting Hands family grew up in Chicago. He remembers one special Christmas when his parents gave him a Chicago Bears uniform. He was so excited, he put it on and ran around the house. He was always outside playing football or baseball as a child, much like his grandson does now! He recalls playing outdoor hockey at Reese Park in Chicago with absolutely no helmets or protective gear. Things sure have changed!
Speaking of some dangerous sports, our client says that in the city, they used to only plow the main streets, so many of the side streets were slick in the snow. As a child, he and his friends would grab onto the back bumper of cars that were passing very slowly through the snowy streets and go for a ride! It’s called skitching!
Holiday Shopping in Chicago
Another Chicago tradition of one of our favorite seniors was taking her children downtown to Marshall Field’s, which was decorated wonderfully for Christmas every year! (Macy’s still is as well!) Her children loved riding the train, and when they arrived, they each were allowed to pick their favorite ornament to bring home and hang on the tree.
Locally speaking, a client told us about a lovely holiday lights bus tour that she had been on, put on by Wheeling Township. Another suggestion was visiting North Park in Arlington Heights, where they have wonderful lights and plenty of picture opportunities! It’s a perfect holiday evening plan, as it is right within walking distance of some cozy restaurants in downtown Arlington Heights.
No matter what holiday you celebrate, it is a special time of year, and we were so excited to hear stories about holidays past and present from our extended Assisting Hands family! If you or a loved one in the Arlington Heights, IL area needs a helping hand and a listening ear, never hesitate to give us a call at (847) 462-4402.
A Happy, Happy Holidays from our home to yours!