No doubt your December senior activities will include festivities for the holidays. But what about the rest of the month? Get easy arts and crafts with inexpensive craft supplies, food fun, games, recipes, gift ideas, plus special interests like music, history, literature, making a difference, and lots more.
December Themes – Evergreen branches and trees, pine cones, gingerbread characters, cardinals, star, snowflakes, mittens and stocking caps, snowmen, ornaments, holly, poinsettias, red bows, gifts boxes, white bunnies, bells, candy canes.
If you’re looking for craft ideas, our page on winter holiday activities for seniors gives lots more ideas for any holiday traditions too. Plus, we have a creative selection of simple Christmas crafts. Including food fun.
Commemorations for December
Community Service Month - Even for those who can't go out, there are possibilities to help. Make something special, or collect donations for children's hospitals, animal shelters, senior citizens, coat drives, hat and mitten drives, Toys for Tots, and making cards, making fleece blankets, or gift baskets for service men and women and others who may be in need, lonely or ill. Sharing through your December senior activities helps these months pass quickly.
Random Acts of Kindness Month - Create a designated week for your group or family to focus on special kindnesses during this time, as part of your December senior activities. Be sure to include little unexpected things. You could also draw names and keep it secret until the end.
Hi Neighbor Month – This could also go along with random acts of kindness. And because it’s a month of holiday cheer, it’s especially easy to be neighborly and friendly. Use this month to make an extra effort to include and get to know those who may be new or a bit withdrawn. Get-togethers or special visits during December senior activities are always more fun with food! Perhaps share recipes.
Read a New Book Month – December is a great month to read a new book, especially on a topic you may not usually choose. Maybe even about starting a new hobby or re-igniting interest in an old one. It's also an ideal month to start a book club. You can also read aloud to those who no longer can. See ideas at senior reading activities.
Write to a Friend Month – Remember the days of writing traditional letters? So many people use e-mail now or just don't write letters anymore. Use this month to write to someone special, and not just in a holiday card. You might include a photo or a favorite poem or quote. Write a letter to someone in need, someone who was ill or in the hospital, or a service man or woman especially who is overseas. These are all excellent December senior activities for a group.
Winter Solstice – either December 21 or 22 – The shortest day of the year.
Kwanzaa – African-American, December 26 two January 1. Celebrates the principles of unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.
Dates for December
December 1 – Eat a Red Apple Day – And you can get fancy with apples too! See our delicious and easy apple recipes. Or make something as a group activity. Another option, if your group is able, is to make and share apple treats potluck style, along with a little apple cider of course!
December 1 – National Pie Day – Any kind! You may have favorites, and you can certainly get opinions. Since it’s also a day for apples, apple pie is homey and nostalgic. We have an excellent all-natural family recipe sweetened with pure maple syrup (or honey). See our easy apple pie recipe.
December 4 – National Cookie Day – An excellent time to share cookie recipes or try something new from a different country or culture. Make a party of it – you can’t have enough of those in your December senior activities! Maybe have a cookie potluck where members bring in their favorites if able, or a recipe to share.
December 5 – Walt Disney's Birthday – Who doesn't love Disney cartoons, movies and programs. Have a theme cake or cookies, maybe a theme balloon or two, and watch a few Disney cartoons or even a movie (you can get them from the library too). For those interested, you might have someone talk about the life of Walt Disney. He was an inspiration. (Kids would love to participate in this day).
December 6 – Mitten Tree Day – There may be those in your group who knit or know someone who does. A great community service project is to create a mitten tree for those in need, especially children. Evergreens, whether real or artificial are often used. Have a group activity knitting mittens and/or hanging them on the tree, ready to be donated to charity when ready. Folks can also of course purchase mittens to hang as well.
….Craft Idea – Mittens also make easy decorative crafts for your December senior activities! Stuff them with tissue or cotton, then decorate with old jewelry, bows, ribbons, artificial flowers, etc. Attach a ribbon to hang, and you’re done.
December 6 – St. Nicholas Day – An interesting tradition in many Christian churches. We celebrated and loved this when I was growing up. More festive winter senor activities to look forward to! St. Nicholas was born in Greece in the 300s, and is particularly celebrated throughout Europe. He was known for secret gift giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of the needy. We would each put a shoe out by the door the evening before, and in the morning it would be filled with little treats and gifts. You can improvise to find ways of giving treats on this day.
December 7 – Pearl Harbor Day – Many seniors know those who served in World War II and remember this day. You can do something patriotic, like decorating tables with red white and blue and serving a special dessert. For those interested, there are several good documentaries and a movie available also.
December 7 – National Cotton Candy Day – On a lighter note, this day is also a celebration for cotton candy! In December! If you're able, consider renting a cotton candy machine and serve a special treat on this day. You can also invite families and/or children too.
December 8 – The first Christmas card was produced - A good time to make a homemade Christmas card and give it to someone special or collect them to send to those who may be in need, or need uplifting.
December 10 – Emily Dickinson's birthday, 1835 – For those interested, your December senior activities can also include a little literary fun. Dickinson was an American poet from Massachusetts. She wrote over 800 poems, and most of them were not discovered until after her death. You can get books of her poems from the library and have a reading along with refreshments. Or try a little poetry writing yourselves.
December 10 – The first Nobel Peace Prize awarded – Some in your group may be interested in history and social concerns. A wonderful topic to explore. The first Peace Prize was awarded in 1901 to Frederic Passy (Co-founder of the Inter-Parliamentary Union), and Henry Dunant (founder of the Red Cross). It is fascinating to see who over the years won this prize, and for what.
December 11 – Apollo 17 lands on the moon, 1972 – For those who are astronaut buffs, this was the last lunar landing mission. Have someone give a presentation to your interested group, or even have a guest speaker come in, such as from a local college or university.
December 11 – The Pilgrims land on Plymouth Rock, 1620 – Although the accuracy of this event is debated, it’s still a colorful part of history. The Rock itself has its own history, just a granite boulder engraved with “1620,” yet has become an icon. But the story of the Pilgrims and the Mayflower, and learning the reality is quite interesting. There are several realistic documentaries about this, mostly likely at your library.
December 12 – The first poinsettia plant - Was brought to the US from Mexico by Joel Roberts Poinsett in 1825, who was the first US minister to Mexico. Ideas include putting real or artificial poinsettias at your tables, and even having a lunch or dinner with poinsettia themed paper plates, cups, napkins. If possible, serve cupcakes or a cake decorated with poinsettias. And here is a template you can use too.
December 12 – Gingerbread House Day – If you’ve never made a gingerbread house before, this is the day! It’s also ideal for December senior activities with a group. There are loads of kits you can get, then decorate it to the hilt. Another easy way is to use an inexpensive wooden bird house as a base (dollar store), cover it with graham cracker sections, or cookies. Then lots of candies. Use a tub or squirt tube of frosting as "glue." Members can bring a little candy if possible. Get lots of decorating ideas online.
December 13 – National Cocoa Day – Most of us have heard about the health benefits of chocolate. It's fund to list them on a table card. The origins of cacao / coco are quite interesting as well. Serve hot coco today, and make a recipe with coco or chocolate of any kind. On our easy food activities page we have some creative ideas with chocolate!
December 15 – Edison patented the first phonograph, 1877 – Remember these? Does anyone in your group have a traditional phonograph? If you can get hold of one, especially one that works, include some nostalgic music with your December senior activities, and learn about this invention. A fun presentation topic.
December 16 –The Boston Tea Party, 1773 – For history enthusiasts, celebrate this precursor to the American Revolution, when the Sons of Liberty sneaked aboard the British ships in Boston Harbor and threw all the tea into the sea. You may find a documentary about it… serve a cup of tea while you're at it.
December 16 – National Chocolate Covered Anything Day – A person could go nuts with this one! If you want ideas for chocolate (in many colors) food activities, see our pages on dipping chocolate, and also how to make chocolate covered strawberries. Ideas for holidays too.
December 17 – Beethoven's birthday (baptism) 1770 - For those interested in music, this German composer and pianist is one of the most famous of all time, especially since he was deaf in the end and still kept composing. Music is always a favorite in our December senior activities. So play a little background Beethoven music at your lunch or dinner. Or, you may have a pianist in your group or someone you can call upon to play some Beethoven live. There is also a very good movie about his life called "Immortal Beloved."
December 17 – National Maple Syrup Day – Of course, pure maple syrup is the best! On this day perhaps serve pancakes with syrup for breakfast; or maple syrup candy at coffee time, or bake a special treat using maple syrup as a sweetener instead of sugar. We give a few ideas on our delicious healthy dessert recipe page.
December 18 – Bake Cookies Day – December senior activities just must include some cookie baking, an activity for all ages. Do this as a group holiday experience (with snacking allowed, of course), and try some new decorating techniques too. And try new recipes; again, perhaps from other traditions.
Plus create cookie gift baskets to give away or use as prizes.
December 19 – Oatmeal Muffin Day – December does have a lot of food days, and this is particularly nostalgic. And oats are good for us! Make them as a group, or serve for breakfast or snack time.
December 20 – Games Day – Some organizations have designated this day for games. Sounds good to us! If you need some ideas, see our page for elderly games to use in your December senior activities. Many can be modified to have a holiday or December theme.
December 21 – Don’t Be A Scrooge Day – (a.k.a. Bah Humbug Day). For looking on the bright side, sharing and extending ourselves to others. This can be part of Random Acts of Kindness Month, or Community Service Month. If you were going to watch a “Christmas Carol” Scrooge movie as part of your December senior activities, this is the perfect day.
December 24 – National Eggnog Day – Another holiday tradition, along with special treats, maybe a few games, and perhaps watching a holiday movie or program. Make your own eggnog (with or without the brandy or rum, depending on your group), or buy it at the grocery.
December 25 – Christmas Day – For those who celebrate, no doubt you do have ideas already in place.
December 25 – National Pumpkin Pie Day – Which is not just a Thanksgiving dessert! If you’d like a delicious all-natural recipe (our family sweetens with maple syrup), see our spicy easy pumpkin pie recipe.
December 28 – National Card Playing Day – Many senior groups enjoy playing cards, so why not designate this as a special day. You might include door prizes, contests, and special refreshments. Offer a variety of card games that anyone could enjoy.
December 30 – Rudyard Kipling was born, 1865 – For those interested in literature, this famous writer during the time of British Imperialism, was known for such classics as “Jungle Book,” (also a movie) “Kim,” (also a movie with Errol Flynn from 1951), and the poem “Gunga Din.” (also a movie from 1939). He was one of the most popular writers in England. In 1907 he won the Nobel Prize for Literature. You can get his work at the library, and many are short enough to read aloud. Other movies are “The Man Who Would be King,” “Elephant Boy” and “Captains Courageous.”
December 31 – New Year's Eve – You may already have plans to have a New Year's Eve party. And you may be thinking about new ideas, so check out our perfect party theme ideas page to get some.
Easy Crafts and Gifts
Find many more December senior activities in our comprehensive craft book - over 120! (Get a sneak peek)! Plus, a booklet of FREE templates. So why hunt all over our web site. Get a collection of our favorites, AND lots of new crafts never seen before. TWO books for one!