Seems it’s never too early to talk about the holiday season! Since many of you have shared that you are already planning your December cards and letters, we would like to remind you that LAI prides itself on being an inclusive organization. This is critical for both our writers and our recipients; your Leadership Team is composed of individuals of different faiths and belief systems and we’ve spent considerable time on the following guidelines.
A quick bit of trivia: in addition to Christmas, December celebrations include Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Bodhi Day, Mawlid el-Nabi, Boxing Day, Omisoka, Las Posadas, St. Lucia’s Day, St. Nicholas Day, Hogmanau, and HumanLight. And of course, Festivus!
Our amazing volunteers and beloved seniors span the globe and we don’t have information about any individual’s personal beliefs or religious affiliation. Rather than possibly offending someone with a holiday-specific card, we urge you to consider sending non-denominational messages welcoming winter and wishing happiness in the new year. Please realize that many nursing home residents don’t have families or worse, have families who do not visit. Pictures of a jolly Santa or a decorated tree surrounded by lots of gifts may elicit feelings of sadness about what’s been lost.
Two members of the Team have prior experience working in long-term care and have reported that most facilities are overwhelmed in December with holiday cards from charities such as the Salvation Army or local school groups. The staff is often too busy to distribute these cards in a timely manner. January is traditionally a time when every one of us needs a boost after the holiday season and when facing long, cold winter days in many parts of the world. This is especially true for seniors in care facilities and those who receive services from meals-on-wheels programs.
We’d like to try something a bit different this year - rather than focusing your efforts on holiday-themed cards, let’s send our seniors tons of wishes for a HAPPY NEW YEAR! These will be appreciated by staff as well, who will be faced with less pressure to get all the cards distributed during busy December.
Please consider these themes for your designs: Snowpeople, Snowflakes, Icicles, Hot Cocoa, Hot Cider, Snow Covered Mountains, Mittens & Scarves, Animals in the Snow. Include a favorite joke or quote about winter or have kids you may know add some colorful artwork.
(If the absolute only way you can get into the holiday spirit is by sending Christmas cards, PLEASE label them as such, so the staff at each of our partner facilities may distribute them appropriately.)
THANK YOU for respecting one of the founding principles of Letters Against Isolation. As always, if you have specific questions, feel free to get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Each of you is a valued member of the LAI community and we would not be the successful organization we’ve become without YOU!
Wishing you peace, joy, laughter and good health,
Saffron and Shreya, Co-Founders
on behalf of your Leadership Team: Ellen, Alissa, Paula, Tim, Andrea, Pat and Satish