4 Ways to Make the Most of the Time After the Holidays

After New Year's Eve, there's a long stretch where your residents might not have anything to look forward to. Here are some ideas to take advantage of that time.

jfiur thumbnailIt’s finally the holiday season. Time for parties. Champagne. Seeing friends and family. Cookies. So many cookies.

And that’s so festive and fun. What a great time of year. Until January 1st. And then there’s nothing. For a while anyway. Sure, Valentine’s Day is in February, but that is a long, cold, sad stretch until then. And, really, what do you even have to look forward to with that? Chalky conversation hearts, over-priced prix fixe meals where they will definitely be out of heart-shaped ravioli by the time it’s your reservation and drug store boxes of chocolate that are 85 percent cherry cordial for some reason? Bah, humbug!

Here are some ideas to take advantage of the time right after the holidays with your residents.

Tree disposal bins. Let’s get this one out of the way—it might not be the sexiest thing you can do, but it is practical. And who doesn’t like practical? (I whisper to myself as I gift wrap the socks I’m giving to my kids.) After the holidays, your residents might have Christmas trees they need to get rid of, as well as boxes, etc. Help them out by having an area in the community where they can properly dispose of this stuff.

food driveFood or toy drive. According to Nonprofit Tech for Good,  nearly one third of annual giving occurs in December. Which is great, but that doesn’t mean charities don’t need donations the rest of the year. Your residents might have a ton of unopened gifts or cans sitting around after the holidays. Why not arrange a drive where residents can donate to a local charity. You can ask for volunteers to make the delivery. Or even expand from there, and work with the charity to and your residents and arrange days they can volunteer—perhaps you could even provide shuttle service.

Group health challenge. Did you know that 87 percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions end up giving them up before the end of January? Did you also know that 92 percent of statistics are made up on the spot? A lot of people try to eat healthier, work out more, or lose weight after the holidays. And it’s easier—and more fun—to stick to this sort of thing when you’re not alone. You can do a weight-loss challenge with some of your willing residents, or offer special exercise classes or healthy cooking classes. Encourage each other, and hold each other accountable!

After party. It’s not about the party, it’s about the after party. It’s great to have parties for your residents during the holiday season. But a lot of people are on vacation then, or are visiting family, or have so many social obligations that they can’t do everything. (I think it’s a conspiracy from Big Alcohol and Big Sparkly Cocktail Dress to take all of our money.) After the holidays though, there’s not much going on. And then you can mix and mingle without the jingling beat. It’s much better to hear each other that way, anyway.

What are some other ideas of things to do with your residents after the holidays? Or do you think people are burned out on events by then and it’s not the time to try to do something new? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Post your comments on our Facebook page or send a tweet to @MHNOnline or @jfiur.